Posts Tagged ‘volunteering’

After 10 years of hard work by over 40,000 volunteers, all 600,000 trees have now been planted at Heartwood Forest. The final trees, both oak trees, were planted during a ceremony on Sunday (25th March 2018).

Beccy Speight, the CEO of the Woodland Trust came along to help everyone celebrate, together with Baroness Barbara Young, Chair of Trustees for the Woodland Trust.

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Visitors came from far and wide to enjoy the day and have a look at the exhibition near the planting area.

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The penultimate tree was planted by regular volunteers Pam Farley, Tim Wright and Brian Legg, all of whom have played a massive part in the creation of Heartwood Forest.

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The final tree was planted by Lady Verulam, together with the mayor of St Albans, Councillor Mohammad Iqbal Zia.

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A memory tree was created, with leaves inscribed with memories of Heartwood Forest and what the forest means to many of the people who came along to the event.

It was a lovely day that celebrated an incredible achievement. 600,000 trees, all planted by volunteers aged from 1 to 100.

Heartwood Forest now moves into a new chapter in its life story, as we watch the trees grow and the woodland develop and mature over time.


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Volunteers were hard at work at Heartwood Forest today, planting trees in the breezy sunshine. More than a thousand trees went in to the ground!

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There are still over 20,000 trees that need to go in before the final tree is planted on the 25th March!

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If you would like to come along to a work party, the dates are as follows:

  • 23, 29 Jan
  • 6, 14, 22 Feb
  • 2, 8, 14, 20 Mar

Work parties run from 10am-3pm, but volunteers come and go as they wish, with some coming for an hour or so in the morning or afternoon, and some staying right through.

Tree planting will be the main activity at most (if not all) of these work parties, but there may be other tasks that need to be carried out. The meeting location varies according to the tasks that need doing, but you will be informed of where/when to meet before the day.

Hot drinks are provided, but you are asked to bring your own lunch/snacks.

What to wear:  Gloves, rugged waterproof footwear, plenty of layers and waterproofs

If you would like to come along or would like further information, please email heartwood@woodlandtrust.org.uk for further details.

Work parties are all during the week, but there is one final Community planting day on Sunday 11th March 2018, 10am-3pm.

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Heartwood planting

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We are coming to the end of the Winter planting season – just 3 more work parties to go before the end of March when we have to stop planting. The trees are already starting to bud – and today’s work party enjoyed some wonderful sunshine.

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This spurred the volunteers on to plant over 3000 trees, a fantastic achievement!

We still have plenty more trees to plant before the end of the month, though!

The 3 work parties left are on Wednesday 15th March, Tuesday 21st March and Monday 27th March.

If you haven’t been before and would like to come along to help in planting the last trees of the season, please email heartwood@woodlandtrust.org.uk for further details.

We usually meet at 10am, with the meeting location varying according to where the work parties are based.

The sessions finish around 3pm, but people come and go as they need to. Hot drinks are provided but if you are staying for the whole day, please bring your own lunch. Please also make sure that you are wearing suitable clothing and footwear.

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Have you seen the latest post on the Woodland Trust blog?


It’s all about the work and findings of the wildlife monitoring group at Heartwood Forest.

Short eared owl

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Last Sunday we had a public planting day at Heartwood Forest. The weather wasn’t bad at all, with the sun shining most of the time, but it did get rather cold!

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Over 500 people turned up during the day, and 5,850 trees were planted.

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It wasn’t the easiest place to plant, with quite a few stones in the ground and a layer of grass to get through before hitting the soil, but nobody seemed to mind.

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A huge “Thank you” to all those who joined us on the day and helped to plant so many trees!

We also need to say a special “Thank you” to our wonderful young supporter, Síofra, who came along again, laden with her home-made brownies and other very tasty goodies, and raised a fantastic £61 for Heartwood Forest by selling them! Well done and thank you so very much!






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The Woodland trust recently announced its annual Volunteer Awards and again Heartwood Forest volunteers featured heavily in them.

Richard Inglis was nominated for the Bluebell Award, for the best guardian of woods and  trees, and Linda Smith was nominated for the Acorn Award for the most inspiring volunteer.

The Heartwood Environmental Monitoring Group were nominated for and won the Willow Award, given for the best collaborative achievement.

‘This monitoring group has developed over the last six years into a multi-disciplinary team of around 40 exceptionally talented and knowledgeable individuals. The majority of volunteers are professors from the local university and Kings College in London, from Rothamsted Research (a local agricultural research station), from Herts Natural History Society and people interested in the wildlife of Heartwood. Although many  are professionals in their field, others have been welcomed into the group has and have been inspired to take training courses to further their interests.

The group is currently recording ancient woodland and an array of mammals, birds insects, fungi and flora. . The team work tirelessly in all weather and at all times of the day.’

The group was also given a special Chairman’s Award for their contribution to the Heartwood project. This is an engraved plaque dedicating an area of the wood in recognition of the contribution of the monitoring group. It will go on an oak post at Heartwood.


Linda, Ken, Tim and Brian, representing the Heartwood Environmental Monitoring Group, with the Chairman’s Award.


Brian, Linda, Richard, Tim and Ken, together with site manager Louise and the two awards.

A fantastic achievement and congratulations are due to all involved!



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On Friday we had the first Winter work party of the year and the first opportunity to plant trees this year.

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The weather wasn’t great at the start – strong wind and driving rain – but the sky soon turned blue and the sun even managed to come out for a while!

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Weather rarely bothers the hardy bunch of enthusiastic volunteers at Heartwood, and there was a fantastic turn out.

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The work party concentrated on planting the first trees forming part of the arboretum going in to Heartwood, which will be an area for people to visit to see a huge number of different species of native trees – around 8000 trees covering 60 species – divided into different areas according to their uses.

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876 trees were planted, covering 8 species. Some were planted with guards, some without. This varied according to species.

There are plenty more work parties happening over the season – why not come and join us for a session or two? Whether you come to one or to many, all help is very much appreciated!

Dates for this season are as follows:

Nov 19, 25

Dec 1, 7, 15

Jan 6, 14, 22, 25

Feb 3, 9, 15, 23

Mar 2, 10, 18

We usually meet at 10am, but the meeting location varies according to where the work parties are based. The sessions finish by 3pm, but people come and go as they need to.

Please contact heartwood@woodlandtrust.org.uk for further details or to let us know that you will be coming along.

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