My sons never cease to impress me in one way or another. My eldest, the cabinet maker, is also a Scout Leader. He is conscientious and wants the best for his scout group, always trying to improve the scout hut and facilities along with his best friend. Anyway back in the summer I noticed on Twitter that the Woodland Trust was offering community projects free trees to mark the Queen’s Jubilee. I mentioned this to my son and he was very interested. The scout group over the last few years has had a new building and new fencing has been installed particularly to try and prevent equipment being stolen. My son, a keen woodsman, did not like the chain link fence and wanted to soften it with trees with a goal of at some point in the future being able to use wood from the hedge to teach woodmans skills.
Anyway, having investigated the options offered by the Woodland Trust he applied for a ‘Year Round’ medium sized hedge and waited. Then in October he had an email to let him know that the application had been successful and the 105 young trees would be delivered late October.
Planting 105 young trees is some undertaking and my son wanted to make it an event so given the timing of the delivery he decided to incorporate it into plans for the scout group to mark Remembrance Day. Last weekend he and another scout leader dug 105 holes along the fence to give a double hedge. The plants arrived in a large box along with a Royal Oak sapling. This sapling had come from a Royal Park and one was included in each pack in order to mark the jubilee. At the Scouts grounds there is a small hill, mainly constructed out of the spoil from the new building being built and the plan is that the Oak will be planted on the top so they have a focus for future rememberance events etc. However, we think there will need to be some serious soil preparation so the oak has been planted in a nice pot and will live over winter in my garage.
Today, Remembrance Sunday, a service was held at the Scout Hut to mark the day but in such a way that it was relevant to the young people, unlike many church services. The Oak was formally presented to the group by the vicar and after the service all the scouts, cubs and beavers went outside, were given a tree each to plant and an oak label (made by my son) on which to write their name and a message. Of course the Scout leaders went along behind to make sure the trees were planted properly and watered.
I think this was a wonderful idea. The hedge, providing it survives and grows, will be associated with remembrance by many of the scout group and the Oak will especially, as it grows and matures, provide a focal point for the group and their activities – what better way for young people to show their respect and rememberance for those who have lost their lives fighting for their country.
Note: there are no photos of the tree planting due to the number of childre involved and the need to have permission for their photographs to be put on the web in the first place.