This is a guest post
Among all the talk of development and building over green spaces, Hythe Green is moving in the other direction.
Following the successful partnership of Hythe Green Preservation Society (HGPS) and Hythe Town Council in securing the Green’s protection by Fields in Trust, we can finally be reassured that there will now be no further threat of development.
HGPS acts to enhance Hythe Green as a precious amenity for the people of Hythe and for visitors to the town. Its first project has been to oversee a crowd-funding campaign to establish a native woodland in the south-western corner of the Green providing a more biodiverse area to encourage wildlife and planting as well as improving the amenity for local people.
Trees include horse chestnut, silver birch, oak, beech, hornbeam, field maple, flowering cherries and holm oaks. The wood will be underplanted with elder, holly, hawthorn, hazel, dogwood and butcher’s broom among other species. It will act as a visual and acoustic buffer to HV Wooding’s factory and will connect the recently opened Woodland Walk along the western boundary with the southern fringe bordering Hythe Bay School. This southern path will also be a sheltered walkway and Hythe Green Preservation Society is continuing to work on its agreed five-year management plan with Hythe Town Council to ensure that the trees, mainly cherry plums, and undergrowth along this area are properly cleared and maintained.
Richard Bateman, Chair of HGPS, says the initial campaign to purchase, plant and maintain a wood of 35 trees reached its target of £13,500 in July. Kent County Council supported Hythe Green Preservation Society’s bid with £6,000 and in all almost 100 individuals and organisations made pledges of support. HGPS is very grateful to them all. It also acknowledges the charity The Kent Men of the Trees (www.kentmenofthetrees.co.uk) who offered us a variety of native species. The wood – eventually totalling 104 trees – has now been put in place and a watering system has been set up. We have been actively supported by HV Wooding in allowing us to use their roof in harvesting rainwater for the trees.
Stephen Bailey helping prepare the site for future planting
In addition to the 450 screening whips planted by Hythe Green Preservation Society along the southern school boundary, we have purchased 80,000 bluebell seeds and these will eventually flower to fill the western and southern walks at the edge of the Green. Repeat bluebell and also snowdrop planting at this rate will be carried out annually. A further enhancement will be the additional planting of a line of cherry plum trees along the edge of the new wood, providing both a shaded path and a continuation of the southern boundary walkway, enabling a sheltered walk along two sides of the Green. Hythe Green Preservation Society continues to provide updates via its Facebook page and through events held on the Green.
For more information, please contact Geoff German, Treasurer, Hythe Green Preservation Society on 01303 237056. And please do take a look at https://www.spacehive.com/hythegreenwood
The Shepway Vox Team
Caring for our Environment is NOT a Crime