Both Flamingo Land and our Udzungwa Forest Project in Tanzania are busy planting trees, with more than 7,000 saplings expected to be planted by the end of the month.
The trees being planted in Tanzania comprise at least 21 species, five of which are listed on the IUCN red list of threatened species. Trees have been donated to various village groups including the Katurukila Muslim Association. Species planted in Tanzania include the white mahogany (Khaya anthotheca), which is a large timber tree. The project is also experimenting with seeds from a tree seriously threatened with extinction (Polyalthia verdcourtii), so far with little germination success, but watch this space.
Among the species being planted at Flamingo Land are the small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata), a rare species that attracts so many insects in the summer that trees are said to hum. We have also planted oak (Quercus robur), which provides habitat for more species than any other British tree, and common alder (Alnus glutinosa), which grows particularly well in damp areas.
Both sets of planted trees will be similarly managed for sustainable use, but they differ in the intended use of the trees. In Tanzania, trees are a vital resource for fuel, tool handles and building, but at Flamingo Land, they are used to feed the giraffes!
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the volunteers and staff who helped us to nurture and plant trees this month. All of the hard work has helped us to win a David Bellamy Gold Award for conservation for a third year running!