Cubs and scouts from Harborough plant almost 2,000 trees to help the environment

The town’s 1st Bowdens Scout Group got together with Harborough Woodland and Waterloo Cottage Farm in a bid to improve the sparse local tree cover

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 11:16 am
Cubs and scouts from Harborough plant almost 2,000 trees to help the environment (c) Nick Osborne

About 100 cubs and scouts from Market Harborough have planted almost 2,000 trees as well as new hedging.

The town’s 1st Bowdens Scout Group got together with Harborough Woodland and Waterloo Cottage Farm in a bid to improve the sparse local tree cover – the second lowest in the UK.

Tree lanes were planted by the enthusiastic youngsters in grazing fields at Great Oxendon’s Waterloo Cottage Farm - where farmers Angus and Kirsty Clarke are committed to farming with nature.

Cubs and scouts from Harborough plant almost 2,000 trees to help the environment (c) Nick Osborne

Regenerative practices, restoring and protecting the environment and the wellness of the pasture-fed herd are at the heart of what the Clarkes do.

Thrilled cub Zac, eight, said: “I found the planting trees session really fun.

“My favourite part was planting the trees and finding some worms to chuck in.

“I planted five trees.

“One of them had five worms in!”

Delighted Rufus, an 11-year-old scout, said: “I have enjoyed planting trees very much and the time flew by as it was very fun.”

1st Bowdens Scout leader Sarah Young hailed the ambitious eco venture as they set out to boost the local rolling countryside on the Leicestershire-Northamptonshire border.

“What a wonderful way to emerge from lockdown working with the young people with volunteers from Harborough Woodland and 1st Bowdens Scouts getting together to do something positive for the environment,” said Sarah.

“We look forward to revisiting the farm in years to come to see the trees getting bigger and bigger each year.”

Kirsty Clarke, of Waterloo Cottage Farm, said: “I am so thankful to the scouts and Harborough Woodland for their help in building our animal welfare field because that is really what we were trying to do.”

Harborough Woodland chair Bruce Durham said: “We need trees for shade and to make space for wildlife.

“We decided the best way to do this was to get a community group together so we can all help.”

Fast-growing Harborough Woodland has already planted an impressive 2,040 trees free of charge on 21 projects in their first year.

“We are involved with natural flood management with the Welland Rivers Trust and the Welland Valley Partnership,” added Bruce.

He said planting more trees will help prevent future catastrophic floods by slamming a natural brake on the flow of heavy rainfall in fields as well as on hillsides.

The joint scheme backed by Harborough Woodland, Waterloo Cottage Farm and the cubs and scouts was partly funded by The Tree Council's Branching Out Fund.

Volunteers keen to help at other tree planting events can contact Harborough Woodland at harboroughwoodland.com or join Harborough Woodland Community Volunteers on Facebook.