Tree Planting: 2,000 Trees for 2,000 People

Tree Planting: 2,000 Trees for 2,000 People

Last Autumn, with the help of the island's incredible volunteers and enthusiastic students, we got busy planting 2,000 trees in the ground - at home and in the Alderney Community Woodland!
Alderney Jubilee Woodland

In honour of the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and working with the States of Alderney, this year the Alderney Wildlife Trust were able to provide every resident of our wonderful island with a free tree! Last summer, from a variety of native species, residents could choose which tree they would like to either plant at home or in the Alderney Community Woodland. You may remember seeing us signing people up at the Jubilee Party on the Butes in June and at Calvacade Day during Alderney Week.

There were sixteen native species to choose from, including Holly, Silver Birch, Hazel and Field Maple. The most popular choice from the public was most likely the mighty English Oak and we can’t blame you – it’s the most biodiverse species of tree and a single oak can support over 2,000 species (200 of which are hard to find on any other tree species)! I chose to plant my namesake: the Rowan Tree, which attracts birds (such as Thrushes and Redwings) with its ruby red berries and pollinators with the cream flowers. While our Ramsar Officer Alex chose a Crab Apple tree as he wanted to plant a fruit-bearing tree, an important food source for birds and also small mammals.

On the 10th of November, the Jubilee Trees finally arrived and in the weeks that followed our Wildlife Information Centre was visited by numerous members of the public coming in to collect their trees for home planting. With the amazing help of the community, we got busy planting the rest in the Alderney Community Woodland (ACW).

Tree Saplings

The Alderney Community Woodland

Since its establishment in 2009, we have planted 12,000 trees in the ACW (this number has now increased!) which was first created to bring back native tree cover to the island. It is now a centralized woodland habitat rich in wildlife! During the spring and summer, my butterfly transects take me through the ACW and seeing the flourishing fauna and flora around me is one of the highlights of my week. The ACW is also home to the Woodland Bunker, where we hold many educational and recreational events, including this year’s Family Fun and Future Afternoon during our annual Wildlife Week.

Woodland Week 2022 and Tree Planting

Alongside the ACW, we created Woodland Week (our own twist on National Tree Week) which is celebrated every year at the end of November and the beginning of December. During Woodland Week, we aim to raise awareness of the importance the ACW has to Alderney’s wildlife and community through woodland-based activities. This year, starting on the 26th of November, we held multiple Community Planting Sessions in the ACW which saw over sixty volunteers (of all ages) getting their hands dirty and getting trees in the ground.

Working with St. Anne’s School, we were happily joined by Year 3, 4, 5 and 6 students who were very enthusiastic and eager to help their island’s environment! In pairs, they planted plenty of Hazel, Silver Birch and English Oak.

Before the tree planting took place, I took the opportunity to describe the numerous ways in which trees benefit the environment to the students, such as being a food source for wildlife, capturing and storing carbon and later becoming deadwood habitat (which is vital for nutrient recycling). Some of the students added their own insights and knowledge to the discussion, helping to further the conversation into aspects of this type of habitat that the group were more interested in. The groups’ visible excitement increased as we delved more and more into the importance of woodland habitat!


Woodland Bunker

Prior to this year’s Woodland Week, some creative volunteers painted a large bare tree inside the Woodland Bunker. The children later added to this with personalized leaves using their hands as templates and their own imaginative designs. Some of our favourites included drawings of trees, fungi, the Earth and puffins with added phrases such as: We are better if we help together!


From all of us at the Alderney Wildlife Trust, we’d like to thank everyone who helped make this scheme possible and the island’s wonderful community for planting these trees with us at home and in the ACW. You have helped make the future a better place!