2020 marked the 50th Anniversary of the designation of the Ramsgate Conservation Area in 1970. The Society was very much involved in a Conservation Area Appraisal lead by Historic England in 2019 as part of the Ramsgate Heritage Action Zone Project, and this gave rise to the idea of celebrating this Golden Anniversary by planting 50 trees in the Conservation Area in the Autumn of 2020.
Working closely with Kevin Pressland, the Thanet District Council Officer responsible for Biodiversity and Open Spaces, Ramsgate Society committee member Irene Seijo worked on the detail of the project. Irene is a highly qualified and experienced landscape consultant with 25 years experience in public realm planning and development.
We were very fortunate to obtain grant funding from a number of sources including the Post Code Lottery Fund, Ramsgate Town Council, The Mayor of Ramsgate Raushan Ara and Street Trees for Kent. The Society also ring fenced funds from its own Projects Account to make up the balance.
Our original plan to plant the trees in the Autumn of last year using local volunteers was frustrated by the Covid Restrictions in force at the time but fortunately we were able to obtain the services of the specialist landscape contractors Harmer and Sons who undertook the planting of the trees on Wednesday 18th and Friday 19th January. This was not achieved without some difficulty and Wed 18th proved to be the day Storm Christoph hit Kent with winds of up to 55 miles an hour making the job quite difficult. Fortunately, all went well. We lost only 1 tree which snapped in the wind and this will be replaced shortly.
The next stage in the project is our “Adopt a Tree” campaign where we are asking local people to adopt a tree in their name or that of a family member, or friend. For a small contribution your name or that of your chosen person can be allocated to the tree of your choice and your contribution will help us finance the watering costs over the first two or three years until the trees become established. More on this in the March newsletter.