Last Tuesday, the Tuesday volunteer gardeners, which included several of the committee and councillor Siriol Hugh-Jones, joined up with the Permaculture Trust to plant a number of new fruit trees, funded by our three local councillors and Friends of Preston Park. Despite the awful weather, it was great fun and we learned a lot about planting trees!
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Peter Small, Arboricultural Manager for CityParks, reports:
We have conducted the planned works on the Preston Park Twin yesterday with regards to last summer’s elm disease infection. Our in-house team has removed part of the crown where the infection was identified and also some reduction work to lessen the weight stress upon the hollow stem. It has changed the appearance of the tree but is essential and will be followed up with some heavy watering in the summer and another pruning operation next winter as we look to manage the Twin for both elm disease and as a fragile ancient tree. In the short term, we must try to enable the Twin to recover from last summer’s infection which is the greatest current threat to the tree’s continued survival, which has resulted in some significant loss of parts of the canopy.
We will be monitoring the Twin throughout the summer for any further signs of infection but as explained at the time we will need to do this for subsequent years before knowing if the remedial work was successful in stopping the disease from spreading throughout the entire tree. We are committed to doing all we can as losing this tree would be devastating for all BHCC Arboriculture staff. However, we are hopeful the early intervention and the remedial works will give it a good chance of surviving.
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Hello, I am Tom. I’ve been a volunteer since February 2021, so almost a year, which is not that long as I know people who have been here for ten years. I volunteered because Preston Park is a lovely place and I am proud of it as a resident of Brighton. If you’re going to be proud of something you should do something, so I volunteered.
Andy (the Head Gardener) and the volunteers are lovely people, a joy to work with, and being outside and in such lovely gardens is so nice. The plans for 2022 are exciting, such as planting new cherry blossom trees and an orchard.
We have decided not to go ahead with the Christmas wreath-making event at St Peter’s Church this year, due to Covid concerns. However, like last year, Andy Jeavons, supported by our gardening volunteers, will be collecting suitable foliage and berries on Wednesday 15 December. He will take them to the Coronation Garden Shelter so you can collect whatever you want to make your own wreaths.
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We have much to look forward to in 2022, starting with the planting of a dozen fruit trees near the communal allotments behind the Rotunda Cafe on 4th January. These trees were funded by our three local councillors from their annual ward allowances, along with a donation from Friends of Preston Park.
Brighton & Hove Permaculture Trust is working with the councillors and with volunteers to plant the trees and will come back at regular intervals to ensure they thrive. When they start to bear fruit, it is envisaged that fruit will be donated to local food banks and food charities.
On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Friends of Preston Park hosted end-of-year celebrations for the three volunteer gardening teams. Some 70 volunteers and guests attended over the three days.
The Chalet Cafe kindly provided coffee and cakes. Councillor Siriol Hugh-Jones joined us on Wednesday and Alan Griffiths, Operations Manager for CityParks on Thursday and, in each case, expressed their gratitude for the splendid contribution made by the volunteers.
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