Thanks to Great Trees in the Clyst Valley volunteer tree planters

Great Trees in the Clyst Valley will receive the Pride of Devon Environmental prize at the Devon County Show awards ceremony on 17th May.

The Bicton College Pride of Devon awards, presented by Radio Exe, called for nominations for unsung and behind the scene heroes from across Devon.  The Great Trees in the Clyst Valley project scooped the Environmental Award, which is provided in association with Coastal Recycling. 

Great Trees in the Clyst Valley helps people in East Devon learn about and plant trees. It is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and delivered by East Devon District Council’s project officers, Jon Freeman and Simon Bates.

The nomination stated:

Like many areas in Devon, towns and villages around the Clyst Valley have been growing as developments are constructed to meet the housing needs. Such developments have an environmental impact: more people, more vehicles, more carbon emissions. The project encourages people of all ages to mitigate that impact, with a newly created woodland and footpath. Simon and Jon have worked with volunteers to plant 2,200 native trees and hedgerow plants, which will grow over the years and become a landmark in the Clyst Valley.

Without Simon’s vision and Jon’s hard work, this would not have happened.

The judges said:

This intriguing scheme, which has brought together people spanning the generations, will have a lasting legacy and a direct benefit to the future of the Clyst Valley.

Jon Freeman, Great Trees in the Clyst Valley Project Officer said:

It’s a massive honour to receive this award. It’s a complete surprise and we are truly delighted!

Without doubt, it’s thanks to the many volunteers who have helped make this project so successful. Without them, the tree project would not have been possible. Their hard work and commitment means we have planted over 2,000 trees, as well as recording ancient trees and planting orchards.

Mark Williams, Chief Executive of East Devon District Council said:

Congratulations to everyone involved in Great Trees of the Clyst Valley. This award is just-recognition for their commitment to improving the environment in East Devon.

I joined the volunteers at one of the tree planting events, and saw for myself how hard everyone worked. Well done all!