A generous local resident has paid for 18 larger trees to be planted. We agreed that a good place for them would be between the Wincheap footbridge and the A2 bridge, as an irregular arc would help to screen the bridge, traffic and offending graffiti. Even before it has put on any growth, a strategically placed alder blocks out part of the bridge and graffiti when viewed from one angle (see before and after photos on right). Some screening benefit should be apparent fairly quickly, but for the moment the bare stems and branches (bottom right) are in mute testimony to our faith in the project!

Five members of the St Stephen’s Women’s Institute gallantly planted thirty small whips in the field adjoining the Canterbury side of the A2 on a wet and windy Saturday. Originally mown for a hay crop, the field often proved too wet for this work to be carried out, and it seemed more sensible to work with nature by allowing it to scrub over. Small numbers of hawthorn, willow, alder, rose and field maple have already established themselves, and the WI’s work will help speed the process along.

Conversely, we are aiming to keep parts of the old embankment free of scrub in order to maintain habitat for slow worms and lizards on its sunny slopes, and so volunteers cleared some more scrub this month. The aim is to maintain a balance of open and scrubby areas, the bushes being particularly attractive to birds at all seasons, but especially in autumn when many are feeding up prior to embarking on an arduous migration south.