In autumn/winter 2020 the wonderful grounds team at Hinxton Hall collected seeds from the native trees on Campus, which include apple, Ash, Field Maple, Silver Birch, Chestnut, Rowan and Beech among others. These were successfully potted and nurtured to produce young saplings ready for planting in winter 2021 in the grounds surrounding Hinxton Hall and the Conference Centre.

Head Gardener Lee and two of his team, Andy and Joe, plotted out the areas for 25 new trees to be planted along Old Park (next to the Conference Centre), the start of the meadow behind the Conference Centre, and in the parkland behind the lake. Given a shovel each, a pair of gloves, and a safety briefing, six members of the Conference team headed out to get muddy!

After an informative demonstration, detailing how to plant the trees to give them the best possible chance of survival, all 25 saplings were carefully planted, they were supported by a bamboo pole and a tube to protect them from wildlife and the weather.

The second half of the day saw the team working in the gardeners’ yard where they helped plant seeds from three varieties of trees, Silver Birch, Field Maple and Rowan. These will be lovingly cared for by the gardening team over the next 12 months and will be planted at the same time next year in areas where they natively grow on Campus.

The whole experience was incredibly enjoyable for the team, after so many Zoom calls it was enjoyable for them to connect in person, get hands-on with nature and appreciate being outside on the lovely campus grounds. It made for some fun team building, and it was a chance for the team to get to know the gardeners who put in so much hard work looking after the gardens, plants and wildlife.

Hinxton Hall is set in an attractive landscape that is managed carefully to support biodiversity; planting trees annually will help to support the ecology on-site, contribute to carbon offsetting for events, and it will add to the beautiful surroundings event delegates and visitors can enjoy.

Image: L-R Hinxton Hall Conference Centre team: Martyn, Becky, Katrina, Kelly, Emma and Amy, with gardeners Joe and Andy.