The Signifance of Tree Planting at Garland Court, Newbury

Thanks to Ginette from Newbury for sending in this story.

When I was young and asked what I wanted to do with my life I used to say I wanted to plant trees and climb mountains. Sadly my health issues mean I’m not likely to be climbing mountains any day soon but now I realise that anyone can help plant a tree.

So when the local garden centre gave me a flyer to enter a competition to win a tree for the King’s Coronation I jumped at the chance. I did not expect to win but then again if you don’t try new things in life you don’t get anywhere fast.

Because of my mental health challenges, I receive support from a charity called Richmond Fellowship who help people with mental health issues live as independently as possible. So I nominated them to receive a tree, writing a piece about how they help people recover and move on with their lives.

To my surprise we won the tree! The gentleman I spoke to said that usually these kind of prizes go to schools and they wanted to think outside the box and support a different kind of charity.

So on Monday my support worker and I and three of my friends who are supported by Richmond Fellowship had a tree to plant! To be fair when we were part way through it felt like we were going to be there all afternoon but after about an hour of teamwork taking it in turns to dig we finally managed to plant the tree.

Now we are hoping for some rain to help water the tree in. And I have googled how to prune an oak tree because we are aware that the tree needs to be kept to a manageable size appropriate to the garden. It looks like winter is the best time to prune it so hopefully the gardening group can keep it watered in the summer and we can give it a bit of a prune later in the year.

I wrote a poem (see below) on Tree Charter Day in 2018. The national Tree Charter Day is held on the first Saturday of November each year. The first one was held on the 6 November 2017, on the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest. I wrote the poem in November 2018 whilst an inpatient at Prospect Park Hospital. Feeling close to trees and nature in general has helped towards healing my mental health problems and lifting my low mood.

For more information about the 1217 Charter of the Forest see visitlincoln.com/charter-of-the-forest. Lincoln Castle has one of only two surviving copies of the original 1217 charter and it is the only place where copies of both the 1215 Magna Carta and the 1217 Charter of the Forest can be seen together. Worth a visit!

For more information about trees and how you can help them please visit the Woodland Trust website.

Tree Charter Day Poem

I offer up to you
A simple prayer
That trees and plants around the world
May be protected.

May the sun shine its warmth
And down the rain
So that trees old and new
May flourish.

I offer up to you
A simple prayer
That we may be like our favourite tree
Standing tall, strong, and full of life.

English Oak successfully planted
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