If you're a regular reader of our newsletter you'll know that we've been making a big effort to look at sustainable alternatives to the tree tubes that keep our saplings protected - you can read about it in our blog on the future of tree tubes. In the past we used the industry standard plastic tubes to encase the newly-planted trees and help their survival against external threats like extreme weather and browsing wildlife. When the trees mature and outgrow the tubes the plastic casing splits and (in many cases) these end up on the woodland floor.

Last year we started a long term project to collect, compact and recycle these discarded tree tubes from Community Woodlands that we planted many years ago. We began at Shocott Spring between Cotton End and Shortstown, collecting 16 one tonne builders sacks full of discarded tubes in just two days! The tubes that weren't split and were still protecting younger trees were left in place until they 'ping' off.

Nicola and Steve from our Ranger team returned to Shocott Spring again this month with a group of volunteers to collect the next lot of discarded tubes and expand our search to a second area of the site.

In total we collected and compacted another seven bags in just one day, meaning less plastics breaking down on our woodland floor or ending up in land fill. In the future we'll revisit the first and second area to pick up any newly discarded tubes and move across more of the site.

Photo: Martin Rogers

Creating the Forest of Marston Vale means more than just planting trees!

We plant trees and create Community Woodlands to make life better for people, wildlife and the planet, but managing woodland takes an enormous amount of resources. As a charity we rely heavily on public support to be able to continue our work. If you'd like to help us plant more trees and look after local woodlands please sign up to become a Friend - from just over £1 per week you can help us grow:

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