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Our Tree Planting Day in Grant Thorold Park was a huge success!

Last Thursday we all got together in Grant Thorold Park to plant thirty brand new trees – and what a day it was! There were so many people from our community and from groups and organisations from right across the town, and together we brought new growth to our East Marsh!

In the morning, pupils joined us from primary schools across the East Marsh. This included children from Weelsby Primary, St Mary’s Catholic Primary, Strand Primary, William Barcroft Primary, Grant Thorold Forest, Havelock Academy and Phoenix House. They made an aboslute fantastic start, thanks to the help and guidance of the incredible Create Streets Foundation (who helped make all this happen) and expert arboriculturist, Russell Horsey.

Later in the afternoon, we opened up the tree planting to people from the wider community. We had a quite a few special guests make an appearance, including Grimsby’s MP, Lia Nici, and the Mayor – who both cut ceremonial ribbons to mark the planting of the trees. Other local councillors were there too, along with Nicholas Boys Smith, chair of the advisory board of the Government’s Office of Place. Harry Clifton and Shaun Pearson of Grimsby Town FC also came by to show their support.

We planted several species of trees, including elms, tulip trees, sweetgums, red maples and sweet chestnuts. The new trees are 7 or 8 years old and around 4 to 5 metres tall, making them the right age and size to plant and thrive. Not only will the new trees make the park a more vibrant place for local residents to spend time, it’s also a chance for the next generation to learn about the importance of nature.

We made sure all the volunteers were given a proper tree planting demo before they got stuck in. They were taught how to place the trees in the ground, install stakes and strimmer guards, and tidy up the soil. We also made sure refreshments and hot drinks were available in the nearby St John, St Stephen & Shalom church.

It was such a phenomenal, heartwarming day. Some people were there to plant trees in honour of their loved ones; others were there simply because they care about their local park. Members of Humberside Fire & Rescue Service came along to give the new trees a good watering, and the team from Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust were also on hand to captivate the school children with bark rubbing, nature trails and a hands-on nature table. The East Marsh Peace Choir was also out in full force to provide some inspirational background music!

We’ve been giving local businesses have the chance to get in on the action by sponsoring the trees. For £500, they’ll have their name displayed on a new interactive digital map, with all proceeds going towards future greening of the area. Several local institutions have already pledged to sponsor a tree, including Grimsby Town Football Club and The Grimsby Institute. If you know anyone who would be interested in sponsoring a tree, point them here!

Our local garden centres also showed their community spirit with their generous donations. Pennells of Grimsby added a splash of colour by donating four trays of dwarf daffodils and miniature irises. Grimsby Garden Centre also kindly sponsored a tree and delivered one of their ‘Happy to Chat’ benches, designed specifically to get people talking.

This tree planting day was all part of our grand vision for ‘Greening the Marsh’ – we plan to plant a further thirty trees next year. The whole thing has been facilitated by Create Streets Foundation a charity supporting urban design research, neighbourhood planning and community-led design across the UK. The next step is to plant trees all the way down Rutland Street and across Cleethorpes Road, all of which will help make the area calmer and more pleasant. The vision for a greener East Marsh is really beginning to take shape!

Finally, I’d just like to thank… oh, so many people! Tracey and Paul and the gang from Cadent, Eleanor, Tom, Ed and Nicholas from Create Streets, Russell and Doug the bringers of the trees, the wonderful Let’s Dance team, Sue and Carolyn and Josie and the stewards, Kelly the photographer, Emily and her wonderful lot from LHP, Flourish, our MP, our Mayor, Councillors Swinburne and Aisthorpe, Kay Rudd, Kristine and Debbie from GTFC – Harry and Shaun!

Who else? Let’s see… the local fire brigade, the police community support officers, Rev Kay and Linda for feeding everybody and allowing us full use of the welcoming church space, the East Marsh Peace Choir, Lara from Radio Humberside, Phil Norton from Look North, all six of our East Marsh schools, North East Lincolnshire Council, the Forestry Commission’s Urban Tree Challenge fund, the Berkley Group, Hillier Trees, Pennells of Grimsby, Grimsby Garden Centre, The Grimsby Institute, Clover Construction, Equaans/Engie, Emma and SL Medics, Historic England, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, wonderful Together for Childhood gang, Jim the canoe river cleaner, Rock Foundation and Common Good foundation.

None of it would have been possible without you all!

Love and light,

Billy x