Poor weather stunts growth of trees near March planted in record breaking bid

ORGANISERS look to the long term benefits as they dismiss concerns of unspectacular growth of trees planted in a world record attempt.

Two dry summers have stunted the growth of more than 800 trees, planted in a field near Chain Bridge, March, and three foot green plastic coats are blighting the landscape.

March Wildlife Group paid for 700 trees using a grant from the Woodland Trust as they and all six of Fenland’s street pride teams took part in the bid to plant as many trees in an hour in December 2009.

Richard Cleverton, recently appointed secretary of the March group, said: “We are quite happy with the progress being made by the trees. We have only lost 10-15 per cent of the trees despite two dry summers.

“Of course I am concerned with the lack of growth and the plastic tubes which are ugly to look at. But in Fenland we want more wooded areas and if people see that we are planting new trees then it is a good advert to the work we are doing.”

A Fenland District Council spokesman said: “Many of the trees planted 18 months ago are in fact growing well but inevitably not all of them will prosper.

“Some growth will certainly have been hit by two very harsh winters and the lengthy drought this spring. Strong winds of the sort we regularly get in the Fens can also have an impact.”

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More than 1,000 trees were planted around Fenland in 2009 for a campaign run by BBC Breathing spaces that saw 70,000 trees, enough to cover 55 football pitches, planted in Britain in an hour.

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