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The Environment

environment

The Environment

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The Environment

Village Trees

Trees & Shrubs in the Parish

Although controversy surrounds the interest in hunting and shooting, Little Houghton owes its thanks to these pursuits for most of its landscape features; not only for the number of field ponds but also for the several small parcels of woodland planted within the last 150 years as cover for game and foxes. There is no ancient woodland within the Parish.

The largest of these spinneys or coverts is to the east of the village and is actually four separate plantations - Rowditches, Catherine's covert, Barbara's covert and Coneygre in total some 5.5 acres. Native and garden species have been planted to give a wide variety of trees and shrubs. The canopy is mainly oak, ash and sycamore with box, elder and hawthorn as the shrub layer.

The adjacent park and lake of Little Houghton House also contains a large number of species of trees and shrubs as many as 48 including aider, bay and the magnificent sweet chestnut.

Other small plantings are scattered around the parish mostly oak and ash, but mature hedgerow trees are few in number.

The old railway line is a haven for flora and fauna with over 100 species of shrubs and plants.

The majority of the hedgerows in the parish are Midland thorn planted at the time of the Enclosure in 1830 although there are a few older ones such as the double hedge which runs south from the village towards Horton.

In more recent times a large number of trees have been planted around the village and beside the gravel pits where various species of willow grow in abundance. On the western approach to the village an avenue of lime trees was planted in 1982 and in February 2011 works to raise the heads of these trees was professionally carried out. These trees today make a wonderful entrance to the village.

Many will remember the early 1970s when the English countryside was ravaged by Dutch Elm Disease. Millions of our familiar trees were lost and the landscape changed, probably forever.

The National Tree Wardens Scheme was created to appoint knowledgeable, and willing, persons in each Parish, District, Urban area and village, to become familiar with the trees in their area, to record trees of special interest or history, to note trees which ought to have T.P.O.s and make recommendations to the Council. In addition, Tree Wardens should be able to offer advice on the proper care of trees and have a basic knowledge of the techniques involved in planting, pruning, and also the identification of common diseases.

Tree Wardens are ideal people to research schemes for improving the local environment, by the planting of trees in suitable locations. The Millennium Wood was one such project. It progresses well despite the effects of extreme weather conditions, and should in future years provide a site of some significance in the village.

In recent times the world has become increasingly concerned about the effect that the destruction of the natural environment is having upon our climate. By the planting and nurturing of trees, it is possible that we are helping to stabilize the situation whilst preserving our own local wildlife and improving the quality of our lives.

We are very grateful to our Parish Tree Wardens for all their hard work in maintaining and looking after the trees in the Parish for us and for future generations to enjoy.

Parish Tree Warden

Mr Ralph Westmoreland

The Old School House, Lodge Road, Little Houghton

Telephone: 01604 890580

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