With very little fanfare but with a lot of commitment, insight and co-operation, the TreeLink Tree Nursery has taken some huge strides forward in the last few months. From a tussocky, unproductive and unused corner of Braehead Community garden, a stalwart band of volunteers have hacked out four humus-rich, healthy and nutrient-laden beds which provide a marvellous medium for developing young trees, at virtually no cost.
Great credit should go to the folk in Braehead who allocated us the space and who have consistently supported the project from day one. For the cost of two raised beds they have given TreeLink room to plant and grow-on an ample supply of saplings which will be made available to interested groups and individuals in the coming months and years. They have also encouraged us to make free use of the tools and equipment on the site and have been really hospitable - especially during our coffee breaks!
Breaking the ground was quite a challenge but over the weeks and months it has become clear that those early shifts of digging, weeding and more digging have paid dividends. Free compost from a local business was ferried in (from Fallin!) by one of our volunteers, and recycled materials have been utilised both to act as a weed barrier and to define the edges of the beds.
Again thanks to the good offices of Breahead Community Garden, gravel paths have been laid leading into the beds, and bark used on the paths between them. Great thanks go out to the volunteer grafting crew who shovelled, shifted and shimmied load after barrow-load on a wet windy weekend to get that work done. The amount of effort expended can be best gauged by the fact that at least one shovel was a casualty and that there's been a run on Ralgex sore-back embrocation at the local supermarket.
And now (drum roll in the background) we have actually planted trees! Over the past two session at the nursery various locally-sourced saplings have been planted. We have mountain ash, horse chestnut, wych elm and willow (and a random self-seeded sycamore which we won't tell anyone about) all standing as testaments to TreeLink's optimism and faith in the future.
If you're interested in taking part in any of the activities then there is a regular volunteer opportunity maintaining the tree nursery at 10:00 am on the third Saturday of every month, at Braehead Community Garden. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to get more details. The garden is secured so we need to know you're coming to get access.