Dedicated Boundary Trees
The costs for planting each of the Boundary Trees with their stock proof cages and Maintenance Plan was well over £130 each so we offered 24 Dedicated Boundary Trees for £75 each and made up the difference through funding grants from Bradfield Parish Council and The Big Tree Plant.
The 24 Tree Dedications have been made to people or things that we love. They are a collection of incredibly moving, inspiring, heartwarming and interesting pieces of writing and include dedications made to friends and loved ones past and present, parents, children, and grandchildren. They also include accounts of the hamlet during the Second World War, family histories, descriptions of a family Christmas, an honoring of Spiritual Teachers, people who have dedicated their lives to service and a celebration of Snowdrops and Trees. Each of the people making a Dedication will be receiving a Certificate, copy of their dedication and Map.
These dedications are also to be included, together with photographs, in a special Record Book which is to be archived with Bradfield Parish Council. The new trees have been planted along the boundaries of the fields in close proximity to the roads and footpaths around Brightholmlee including the Stone to Steel Heritage Trail. Each tree is specially protected by a 6’ high stock proof cage and has a 5 year maintenance plan.
Environmental Benefits of Our Scheme
The planting of new trees into our rural landscape will bring many benefits to local agriculture, the environment and wildlife. As many of our existing trees are probably between 150 – 200 years old and reaching the end of their lives, we want to ensure that trees will continue to form an important part of our landscape and heritage.
With possible global warming, trees are playing an ever increasing role in helping to maintain our environment.
Agriculturally, trees shelter stock, crops and buildings, help to control soil erosion, reduce surface water run-off, delineate land ownership and are prominent boundary markers. Historically they conserve out lines of past land use. Environmentally they provide a source of shelter, food and nectar for numerous pollinator insects, small mammals, invertebrates and birds. One Oak tree can support up to 500 species of wildlife.
The Hamlet of Brightholmlee
As well as benefiting local farmers and landowners, it is intended that our new trees will be enjoyed both by the residents and the larger community.
Brightholmlee is a small historic hamlet on the north eastern edge of the Parish of Bradfield. It lies on the southern side of the Ewden Valley, about ¼ mile up Brightholmlee Lane from Wharncliffe Side and approximately 6 miles north west of the City of Sheffield, in South Yorkshire. The earliest recordings of the settlement date back to Mediaeval times.
Brightholmlee is a designated Conservation Area and is a popular hamlet with many people, including walkers, ramblers, horse riders and dog walkers. It appeals to local historians and history groups, displaying many original examples of early cruck frame construction and vernacular architecture spanning from the 15th to the 19th Centuries. There is a historic Orchard belonging to the Old Hall and several footpaths and bridle ways pass through or close by the Hamlet, the Stone to Steel Heritage Trail being one of them.
Our existing Boundary Trees are quite sparsely distributed compared to Carr House Meadows Nature Reserve, (managed by Sheffield Wildlife Trust) a little further along Thorn House Lane. Here the fields are surrounded both by boundary trees and hedgerows and gives us a glimpse of how Brightholmlee may have been at some point in its distant past. The Enclosure Acts of 1826 impacted greatly on our landscape and it’s reasonable to guess that most of the present trees will have been planted around this time, some of which are recorded on the first Ordinance Survey Map of 1855.
The Stone to Steel Heritage Trail follows Townfield Lane which takes its name from Medieval times when land closest to the centre of a settlement was divided up into strips and shared amongst the inhabitants for the growing of corn, leaving the outer common lands for grazing.
However with the Enclosure Acts of 1826, the Townfield was divided up into larger fields and, like the rest of the landscape, is now enclosed by dry stone walls. Each field was given its own name and these will be included in the Record Book in order to preserve them.
One of the benefits of forming this Group has been to bring together our small community. Even though we live so close together, many people had not met before and all have enjoyed coming together for our monthly meetings and getting to know one another.
We have included children from Wharncliffe Side Junior School in the planting of the new Boundary Trees together with their drawings and writings in our special Record Book.
We hope to inspire other rural communities within the Parish and Ewden Valley to begin their own Boundary Tree Planting Projects. Many people do not realize that even though they live in a rural area already populated with trees, it is still necessary to make future provision for trees.
Our Project is Unusual
Our project is unusual since we are planting on privately owned agricultural land we have had to take the following into consideration:
- Requesting permission from each of the landowners involved.
- Our trees will need substantial protection from cattle and horses for at least 10 years by way of 6’high stock proof cages.
- The trees are not directly accessible to the general public. However all the trees will easily be seen from footpaths and roads. In Phase One we will be planting alongside the Stone to Steel Heritage Trail which runs along Townfield Lane, up the road through the Hamlet and onto Swinnock Lane.
- We are restricted in who we can apply for funding as most Funders prefer projects to be on Community Access land.
- We have no control over any change of future ownership of the land and consequently the trees. However we hope that all Landowners present and future appreciate the value of additional trees being planted and enter into the Community spirit. Our Record Book adds a greater provenance to the project as well.
Why Our Scheme is So Important
According to the Woodland Trust’s Position statement isolated hedgerow trees across Britain have fallen in numbers from over 56 million in 1951 to 5 million in 1998. It is therefore vital that projects like ours are supported. The restoration and planting of trees into our landscape will help to ensure our tree population continues into the future, they are part of our cultural heritage, bring numerous benefits to the local environment and wildlife and are prominent visual features of our landscape.