Last Saturday 14th March, JCI Barnsley members put their spare time to better use within our
community by spending the day out volunteering with Martin Sugden from Voluntary Action
Barnsley (VAB) and Trevor Mayne from Barnsley Council’s Park Services. With Tree Planting on the
agenda, we were down for getting our hands dirty, as well as our boots, trousers, and possibly faces
in some cases…!
This tree planting project also ties in nicely with the JCI project impact 100. As JCI is celebrating a 100
anniversary, they have asked members to get involved with a project that will make an impact of
lives for 100 people.
With this in mind, through the means of social media, our Community Director Kathryn Brookes
contacted with Martin at VAB. VAB alongside the council have been involved in the National
Improvement Area (NIA) of Barnsley. By Tree Planting in designated areas of the Dearne Valley NIA,
the scheme hopes to achieve a number of important goals, with the interests of wildlife and the
benefits to the environment at the heart of it.
At ten am, full of energy and enthusiasm, wrapped in hats, gloves and scarves, 9 of us gathered by
the Swanee in Kendray to make brief introductions with our organisers from VAB and Barnsley
council. You could have mistaken us for Snow White’s dwarves as we set off with our shovels and
spades back up the hill, armed with bundles of natively grown British saplings (chosen with success
in mind, that native saplings will be able to survive in our climate, and have not been imported with
diseases that could devastate our ecosystem) and with gusto spread out and started digging and
While stopping for a mid-morning cuppa to warm us up it became clear to me, whether the others would agree with me or not, that the best way to keep warm was to keep planting trees! Standing still let the chill of Spring nip at your nose and finger tips, so once we returned to planting, and with us now spread across the planned out planting area, we determinedly continued to dig and plant and join the existing areas of established trees with our saplings.
We dug deep and finished the day (okay it was early afternoon, but it felt like later!) exhausted,
achy, but proud. Martin and Trevor estimated that we had planted over 500 trees a well deserved
pat on the back.
While we weren’t able to stand back and admire the impact of our handiwork in one day, I hope I’m
not alone in putting March 14th 2016 and 2020 back in the diary to return to this spot, to hopefully
see that our work has taken root and had a positive effect on the site.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Tracy Grange