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Preston’s parks celebrating National Tree Week

Posted on - 5th December, 2010 - 10:15am | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Observations, Parks

Some of the chainsaw-sculpted trees in Ashton Park, pic courtesy of Tony Worrall.

Ashton Park Rangers led a guided walk through the park in celebration of National Tree Week.

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Mike Ashmore and Steve Smith had originally planned to hold a community tree planting event. This would have run on from their participation in the BBC’s attempt to plant one million trees in an hour last year. Unfortunately the minus seven degree conditions put a stop to any planting.

The event was replaced with a guided walk, and participants were taught about the parks involvement with various groups of the community.

Ashton Park has close involvement with local schools, Busy Bees and Ashton Health Centre.

Ashmore said: “Once a group feels involved with a park they’re more likely to respect the park, the kids love coming over and seeing the trees they planted a year ago, and they’ll be able to carry on doing so when they have their children.”

Smith added: “A great man said a best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time to plant is now. And I’m all in favour of that. From our perspective if we plant trees its ground we don’t have to mow, making it cheaper for us, it provides shade, helps with pollution, home for wildlife, kids love to climb them, from an environmental angle you cannot knock planting a tree, if there’s one thing I suggest everyone do in their life- plant a tree.”

The Friends Group of Ashton Park help organise the different events and activities, with 12 public events already planned for the following year. With the money the park raises Ashmore and Smith hope to open a kitchen-garden.

All of the events at Ashton Park have a positive environmental message. Smith said: “It’s always been a large part of our job to get these green messages across, but as funding gets tighter it’s also an opportunity to put events on for a minimal amount of cost- it ticks all the boxes- giving us a chance to practice what we preach.”

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