As we get ready for the new tree-planting season, we wanted to share some highlights from one of the fantastic community tree planting days that took place earlier this year.

In spring 2023, United Healthcare Developments (UHD) completed the new NHS Milnrow and Newhey Medical Centre in Rochdale. The development is part of the NHS England Exemplar scheme. As part of the development the NHS Forest supplied 500 native trees. This was to help create a welcoming green space around the site. In March, UHD organised a community tree planting event with three local schools and people from the area.

Community tree planting event

One group planted a native hedgerow to act as a wildlife corridor from the community park to the north of the site to the vegetation next to the metro line at the south of the site. The species included Hawthorne, Hazel, Blackthorne, Dog Rose and Elderberry. The pupils learnt interesting facts about the planted species including the benefits of wildlife corridors for biodiversity. Another group helped to plant a native woodland belt. These trees included Field Maple, Silver Birch, Rowan, Oak, Bird Cherry and Goat Willow. The site also includes a community orchard supplied separately by UHD.

Ongoing community involvement

We’re delighted to hear that the community will continue to be involved with the management of the trees. This will ensure they will be enjoyed for years to come. Staff and patients at the medical centre have also seen an increase in wildlife since the trees were planted. Rabbits and even deer have been spotted on the site. In addition, the new green space is contributing to the wellbeing of those who work there. Staff have reported enjoying the lovely views from the new building.

The UHD team shared their experience of the day: “All in all, though the weather was not so pleasant for those doing the planting, it was perfect for the trees and it will be wonderful to watch the progress of everyone’s hard work. There is a fantastic view across the orchard to the native woodland behind from the Milnrow and Newhey Medical Centre which many of the pupils are very excited about. Following the planting day, the orchard has been seeded with a wildflower seed mix which will help to enhance the biodiversity of the area, hugely benefiting the local wildlife. A huge thank you to everyone that came to help, it was a fantastic day and we are all looking forward to watching the trees flourish.”

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