Sandwich Community Tree Nursery

Sandwich Community Tree Nursery: a new and exciting community project.


We all know that trees are important and the act of growing a tree can help create a link to nature for many people.

As a Volunteer a Tree Warden I thought it would be beneficial and fun to set up a community tree nursery with the help of local children who can learn about trees, propagating and growing.
Staff from Sandwich Junior School and Sandwich Scout Group who were enthusiastic about the idea came on board and Sandwich Community Tree Nursery (SCTN) was formed. Others have also come on board like our brilliant group of volunteer tree champions and we are hoping that more people from the local community will join us with this worthwhile community project.


Why do we need a local tree nursery?

In the last couple of years, smaller community tree nurseries (CTN’S) often set up by community groups or voluntary tree wardens and they come in various shapes and sizes have really taken off and are popping up all over the UK.

Research shows that the demand for trees of known provenance is going to far outweigh supply and there are growing concerns about the ability of the UK to meet tree planting targets due to a lack of home-grown stock- the simple fact is there are not enough trees.

Boosting commercial supply is one way of addressing this but without secure contracts many nurseries are unwilling to invest in growing trees speculatively.

That’s where Community tree nurseries play a part… supporting the supply chain of locally grown tree stock, which means we become less reliant on growers from further afield and imported seeds.

Our Nursery set up will initially involve two main nurseries, at Sandwich Junior School and Sandwich Scouts Group and satellite growers where seedlings are tended off site by land owners/members of the community.

Hedgerows are wonderful wildlife habitats, acting as wildlife corridors and great when it comes to thinking about climate change and soaking up carbon. So SCTN will be concentrating on native hedgerow species which will support our small mammals, pollinators and birds.

In many ways hedgerows offer more benefits to the environment than single trees and it can be easier to find suitable planting places.

The hedgerow trees will be available free of charge for local planting projects and the Volunteer Tree Warden will help identify places to plant within and around Sandwich, and wider via the Kent Tree and Pond warden partnership affiliated with the Tree Council charity. Be it residential gardens, on field boundaries, local parks or nature reserves, it’s always important to remember that the right tree is planted in the right place!

We are also growing Native Rowan, which is a medium sized tree, wonderful tree for wildlife, and suitable for most gardens. When ready we will give these away to anyone who wants to establish one and has a suitable space. Have a think if a Rowan would work in your garden and keep your eyes open for more details.

Children from Sandwich Junior School and Scouts group have been incredibly enthusiastic. We have already held a poster competition, seed collecting and small planting event at the school. They will learn about trees during seed gathering sessions and the practical side of growing with supporting school curriculum activities and Key Stage 2 lesson plans created by the Tree Council.

We have received generous donations from Sandwich Co-op and Defra to help pay for materials and equipment so a huge thank you to them for helping get this project off the ground!


Get involved!

This project is just getting started and more volunteers are always welcome!

Helping nature and growing trees together has great benefits for our health, wellbeing and is a wonderful social activity. Together we will learn new skills and have fun growing little trees!

You may want to join our local seed collecting events, help with seed preparation, propagation and growing or even support from home as a satellite grower nurturing a “trees in a tray”.

Artistic talents are always welcome, making banners, posters and tree labels.

Donations of small equipment, such as gardening gloves, potato mashers, trowels and marker pens are always appreciated. There is a bin located at St Peters church for this and the school children’s poster with links to a list of items we need.


If you are handy with a saw and drill, then join us on Saturday 11th November 11am – 1pm. We will be build growing cages to protect our seedlings and raised nursery beds to grow them on for our two sites at the Scouts 7th Deal and District St Georges group base in Sandwich.


Contact [email protected] or for more details visit our Facebook page @SandwichCommunityTreeNursery

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