Tree planting for a sustainable future at Ross Rowing Club
Members of Ross Rowing Club made the most of the spring sunshine at the weekend to improve the environment. Armed with spades and plenty of enthusiasm, a team of willing volunteers planted 420 saplings to create a rich, biodiverse wildlife hedge on the Ross Rowing Club’s water meadows.
A variety of native species (e.g. hawthorn, blackthorn, crab apple, willow, hazel, dogwood, silver birch) were specifically selected to provide year-round colour and abundance of wild fruits and berries, creating a diverse habitat for many birds, insects and small animals.
The idea to develop a sustainable environment and improve biodiversity was raised by the Junior Squad members in 2019. The Junior Squad were passionate about developing a sustainable future, improving the environment for the club and the wider Ross community, and offsetting their carbon footprint.
Whilst rowing is very much a carbon-free sport, relying purely on human muscle power, they do have to use fuel in their safety launches and coaching boats, and in the vehicles required to transport crews and boats to competitions. Waylaid by catastrophic winter floods in 2019/2020, and then the Covid-19 Pandemic, the team were pleased to finally put a good plan into action and get planting.
The saplings were kindly donated by The Woodland Trust as part of their Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, devised to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative will create a network of trees, hedges, and whole woodlands across the UK in honour of the Queen’s service and the legacy she has built. The initiative will also create a green legacy of its own, with every tree and hedge planted bringing benefit to local communities, wildlife and the climate, and assist the UK’s commitment to be carbon-neutral by 2050.
The hedge-planting is the first of several environmental initiatives that are being undertaken by Ross Rowing Club, with plans to replace the unsightly fences with more native hedgerows and some larger, individual trees later this year. They are confident that this will improve biodiversity and the aesthetics of the water meadows, and will also enhance the experience of many walkers and visitors to Ross who enjoy the public right of way that passes across the Club’s meadows to access the River Wye.
Ross Rowing Club welcome all who are keen to be involved with the Club, both on, and off the water. Should you wish to know more about the Queen’s Green Initiative, or the other improvements that they are making to the Club, please get in touch via www.rossrowingclub.co.uk