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Volume 75 - Autumn 2018

Journal of International tree foundation

A global community of people planting trees


In this volume 3 4-5 6 7-8 9 10 11-12 13-14 15 16 17 19 20 21-24 25-26

ing 100% Trees is printed us 0% waterless recycled paper, a 10 y powered process, in a factor le energies, by 100% renewab te to landfill producing zero was sitive impact and which has a po e change and is in reducing climat tral in its impact beyond Carbon Neu t. on the environmen

Foundation International Tree w Unit 1 Kings Meado Osney Mead Oxford, OX2 0DP Telephone: 01865 318836 Email:

Foreword News Remembering Desmond Gunner Reforesting Kenya ‘7 Graces’ We Feed The World The Tree Conference Saving Sheffield’s Trees If We Look After The Woods, The Woods Will Look After Us My Orchard Journey A Global Tree Hero Eternal Forest Multi Purpose Mangroves Protecting a Sacred Forest In The Forest Of Our Childhood Restoring Mount Bamboutos

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Registered Charity 1106269


Trees is published by International Tree Foundation (ITF), a registered charity. The opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect ITF policy and ITF does not hold itself responsible for any of those opinions.


Founder: Richard St. Barbe Baker OBE Patron: His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales President: Prof Sir Ghillean Prance

Vice Presidents: Prof Julian Evans Edward Green MBE Susan Hampshire The Earl of Lindsay Prof Roger Leakey Chair: Timothy Hornsby CBE

Vice Chair: Michael Hoare Trustees: Maria Grecna Andrew Hirons Jamie Halloway Josiah Kimani Mardi McBrien

Miriam Reru Kate Schreckenburg Chief Executive: Andy Egan Editor & Designer: Nicola Leigh Doyle Print: Seacourt Planet Positive Printing


foreword I

t is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the 75th volume of the Trees Journal. I have been deeply immersed in environmental issues from a young age as I grew up in Embu County, Mount Kenya, an area engulfed by logging, charcoal burning, and bad agricultural practices. Richard St. Barbe Baker and Chief Josiah Njonjo founded Watu Wa Miti, which became Men of the Trees and later ITF, right where I live and just like them we have seen the negative impacts of rampant deforestation. The majority of rural communities still depend on trees throughout their lives and the water that flows to them from the forest. Due to rapid population increase and demand for land, people have been pushed to look at the forest as a way of sustaining them. Just like St. Barbe, we too had a challenge to convince groups that we need to stop cutting down trees. Our job is to explain that when the forest is cleared, rivers and streams dry up, biodiversity is lost and rainfall becomes erratic.


TF has acted as a major boost to my area and widened our path to achieve our forest restoration goal in and around Mount Kenya Forest. Earlier this year I worked with photographer Omar Diop who took the photo of Magrine, the farmer featured on the cover, as part of the We Feed the World project, (see page 9 for the story). From my experience of working with Magrine and other women farmers, I have witnessed how they are the main victims of environmental degradation. Women are the ones who fetch water, firewood and produce food for families. So it’s easy to understand why women are taking a leading role in running our tree nurseries and project. Agroforestry, the intergration of useful trees into farming systems, is essential in these farming landscapes to provide food, fodder, fuel and timber, conserve healthy soils, increase crop yields and maintain healthy agro ecosystems.


ere at Mount Kenya we are more focused than ever on encouraging people to manage their land in a sustainable manner, protect it from soil erosion and plant trees. Through our work young people understand the importance of consciousness raising and the importance of the forest. Teachers and children are actively involved through the “My 20 Trees and Me: Growing Up Together” project. Trees are well taken care of and when these children join us, they discover not only nature, but they have experiential learning by tree planting and come to appreciate that you cannot protect the environment through knowledge alone. You have to take action and turn that knowledge in to wisdom. Sometimes action means digging a hole, planting a tree and simply making sure that the trees are protected. This wisdom will help grow the generation for tomorrow.

Julian Wanja, Project Officer, Mount Kenya Environmental Conservation (MKEC) MKEC are a community-led NGO who are working in partnership with ITF as part of our Centenary Campaign to plant 20 million trees in and around Kenya’s highland forests.


Join us to celebrate the Centenary of International Tree Foundation in 2024 by supporting our most ambitious campaign yet.

NEWS Help Protect our ancient Yews


few weeks ago long time ITF Member, Allen Meredith, popped into our office and asked us to share a petition campaigning for legal protection for Britiain’s oldest yew trees started by Janis Fry and ‘Friends of the Yew’. Britain has the largest number of ancient yews in the world; a total of 117 are over 2,000 years old. Yet they have no legal protection.

hitch hiking for trees


e were supported for the second year running by Route du Soleil, who donated the proceeds from their European hitchhiking event ‘Barcelona Express’ to our 20 Million Trees Campaign. Team Wild Rebel beat 300 teams to reach Barcelona in the best time, hitchhiking 1,000 miles and winning a trip around the world! A huge thank you to Route du Soleil for supporting ITF’s tree planting again this year!

Winning team, ‘Wild Rebel’ photo by @barcelona_express 2,000 year old ancient yew in Cradley, taken by Janis Fry


he petition calls for fines equal to that in other parts of Europe where yews of even a few hundred years old are protected with fines of over 50,000 thousand Euros. With ITF’s help the petition reached its target of 10,000 signatures and will now recieve a formal response from the Government.

“I am over the moon! We’ve made it! 10,000 signatures in 30 days for the Campaign for Legal protection for Ancient Yew Trees. Thank you everyone who has made this happen! I am greatly indebted to International Tree Foundation for their help with this.” - Janis Fry, ‘Friends of the Yew’

in 2017 we planted an amazing:

582,698 trees


BBC Radio 4 Mali Magic Appeal T

he Trees 4 Livelihoods (T4L) programme in Mali drew to a close in December 2017 after four and a half years of fruitful work. A final evaluation his year poet, musician and writer Benjamin carried out in early 2018 confirms its achievements: Zephaniah lent his voice to our first Radio 4 helping farmers to ‘re-green’ their lands with trees, Appeal, broadcast in June. He told the story of and women to earn better incomes through the some of the people benefitting from our 20 Million sale of non-timber tree products. The numbers are Trees Campaign, in particular Anastacia, a farmer remarkable: on the slopes of Mount Kenya. 24,823 people trained in sustainable land management 3,450 hectares of land restored by farmer managed natural regeneration From 7 to 122 increase in the number of trees per hectare 150% to 188% improvement of crop yields when grown with trees 510 women with improved incomes through sale of tree products


Benjamin Zephaniah with ITF Chief Executive Andy Egan at the recording


hanks to generous donations, we raised over £10,000! This will allow us to plant an additional 25,000 trees. Thank you so much.

Award Ceremony by the Konna Women’s President, Mali

our tree planting target 2018:



ore important is the growing understanding that trees play a vital role in sustaining lives and communities in the Sahel landscapes. Farmers from nearby villages are copying those who have been trained. And twenty women groups have developed their own systems of ‘Saving for Change’ giving their members loans to set up their own small enterprises.


ichard St. Barbe Baker promoted the concept of fighting desertification through the planting and regeneration of trees. T4L shows how this concept is alive today in the re-greening of the Sahel. T4L was a partnership between Malian non-profit Sahel Eco and ITF, with funding from the Big Lottery Fund.


desmond Gunner M.B.E 1924 - 2018


n 20th of February 2018, at the age of 93, Desmond Gunner, ITF Member, much loved husband, father, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather and a good friend to many, after a brief illness, passed away peacefully with family around him. Those who had the pleasure of knowing him would understand that he did not want any fuss or eulogy, but it is hard not to be thankful for a life so well lived.

Desmond’s legacy continues


nowing that growing trees is vital for the survival of the planet and increasingly to combat climate change, he became a Member of ITF in the 1990s and was on the National Board of Trustees for many years. He was tireless in his support for ITF’s work all over the country. Desmond was also a Member of the ‘Men of the Trees Sussex Branch’. In 1999 he became Chairman of the Branch. He devoted much time and energy to expanding the Branch, fundraising and especially promoting the planting and care of trees. He inspired children to plant trees in school grounds and at home, and completely lost count of the number of tree planting events that he attended.


esmond’s legacy continues. The nurseries he supported in Rwanda continue to –help

local communities and individuals to work towards self-sufficiency in timber, fuel wood and fruit. Many of the species grown fix nitrogen and provide soil conservation. Desmond continued to delight in giving illustrated talks and guided walks about trees and woodland management on his farm. He also campaigned alongside a number of organisations on farming, wildlife and environmental issues.


esmond asked for any donations in his memory to be made to the tree nurseries in Rwanda via Rwanda Aid (www.rwanda-aid. org) and referenced DEG.

By Desmond’s daughter, Alison Wright


Reforesting Kenya


e aim to celebrate the centenary of our founding as ‘Watu wa Miti’ or ‘People of the Trees’ in Kenya by planting 20 million trees in and around Kenya’s forests. Focal areas for restoration are the five key forests known as Kenya’s Water Towers because of their critical role as water catchments for this economically dynamic but water stressed country.

to St. Barbe Baker a hundred years ago, that forests can only be conserved and restored by the people who live around them.


e support local community groups to restore forests and plant trees. The 20 million trees are being planted by the people of Kenya who recognise the value of trees and forests in the landscapes. he 20 Million Trees For Kenya’s Forests Campaign Community Forest Associations and community builds on the legacy of our founder Richard St. based organisations work alongside the Kenya Forest Barbe Baker, who launched his career as one of the Service to restore the forests. world’s great pioneering environmentalists with the ‘Dance of the Trees’ at Muguga in Kenya in 1922. As a oday at Lower Imenti on the north-eastern slopes colonial forest officer he took the remarkable step of of Mount Kenya, farmers are planting trees with joining a local leader, Chief Josiah Njonjo, to recruit support from the Mount Kenya Trust and ITF. At Lower young people to conserve forests and plant trees. He Imenti, where the natural forest was almost entirely had the exceptional vision to see that the expansion destroyed in the 1980s and 1990s, they clear the of human economic activity and agriculture was invasive shrub Lantana camara which has taken over already stripping away the forest cover, and he the forest, cultivate the land to grow beans and peas, realised the risks of deforestation for soils, wildlife and plant and care for the indigenous trees to restore and climate long before scientists developed our the forest. As the invasive shrubs are cleared and the modern understanding of ecosystems and climate. land is tilled native trees also regenerate alongside the planted ones to aid the swift restoration of the uch forest has been lost in Kenya and globally forest. since those days. Natural forest has been converted to commercial plantations. Sections have been excised to allocate land to farmers. Plantation schemes have sometimes failed. And poachers of all sorts have caused havoc: small scale hunters, charcoal burners and fellers but also politicians, foresters and business people. Wangari Maathai was the remarkable successor to St. Barbe Baker who played a key role in forcing Kenya to realise that this trend is totally unsustainable.





he Kenyan Government now recognises the vital importance of restoring the forests, and has made big steps in this direction, including a commitment to increase Kenya’s Forest cover to 10% of the land area. In 2016 Kenya committed to restore 5.1 million hectares as part of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) plan to restore 100 million hectares of deforested and degraded land across the continent by 2030. These big commitments challenge and motivate key players such as the Kenya Forest Service. But they cannot achieve these targets on their own. Increasingly we realise what was clear




remarkable range of products. They need the trees not only to produce fruits, fodder, firewood and timber, but also to shelter and shade their crops from wind and sun, to improve soil fertility and increase crop yields. At the same time they help their neighbours, their country - and the world. The trees reduce soil erosion and prevent landslides, increase water infiltration and sustain streams and rivers, and sequester carbon to help mitigate climate change.

n Embu on the south-eastern slopes of Mount Kenya, women groups manage their own tree nurseries, supplying indigenous tree seedlings for forest restoration in degraded areas of the Forest, while also providing seedlings for the primary schools where children and teachers are enthusiastically establishing plantations. Importantly the women also take seedlings home to plant in the increasingly he 20 Million Trees Campaign complex agroforestry systems is gaining momentum: we they manage on their own very expect to reach our first million small farms, integrating trees trees by early 2019. We are with crops to produce a grateful to all our generous


Double your donation

donors for the Campaign, and we need much more help to support many more farmers like those in Imenti and Embu. Many other sites have been identified where forest restoration and agroforestry are needed.


e are delighted to welcome Teresa Gitonga, our new Manager for 20 Million Trees. She is based in Nairobi and shares an office with our good partners Botanic Gardens Conservation International. She brings a wealth of experience, energy and skills to the Campaign. By Paul Laird, Programmes Manager, ITF

We are taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge for the second year in a row. From 27th November to 4th December 2018 you can double your donation to our ‘My 20 Trees and Me: Growing Up Together’ project. Simply visit this link: to donate during the challenge week and make your donation go twice as far! With your donation we can continue to support Kenyan schools with tree planting activities and engage the next generation in environmental protection. Thank you!


7 graces

A series of portraits by Omar Victor Diop of women farmers in Embu County, Kenya.


mar Victor Diop, fine art photographer, was selected to create images of smallholder farmers in Embu, Kenya by The Gaia Foundation, as part of their We Feed The World exhibition, a global photographic exhibition celebrating the small, family farmers who feed the world. Diop travelled to Kenya to meet the women on their farms then created these artworks, which combine vintage botanical illustrations from the early 1900s with photography. The fruits, cereals and vegetables that are inserted in these images are part of what Agatha, Lucy, Margaret, Dyonisa, Magrine, Basilia and Mercy grow on their farms all year long. ITF and our local partners are supporting these women, and many other farmers, as they develop ever more complex agroforestry systems, integrating trees and crops, to produce a remarkable range of products to meet their needs on their very small farms. By planting trees these women not only produce fruits, fodder, firewood, timber, windbreaks, fertile soils and better crop yields, they also help their neighbours, their country and the world. Their trees halt soil erosion and landslides, improve water infiltration and sustain streams and rivers, and sequester carbon to help reduce global warming. “We can now see the need for trees, rather than cutting them. Local weather had totally changed with water volumes declining, now we believe trees attract rain” Lucy Njagi, one of the featured women farmers. The name ‘7 Graces’ referes to Greek mythology, where a Charis or Grace is one of three or more goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertility, together known as the Charites or Graces. These striking portaits were unveiled to the public on October 12th at the We Feed The World launch in London. Omar Victor Diop - Born in Dakar, Omar’s work is interrogative intriguing, prospective and uplifting, while drawing on his African visual heritage.


the Tree Conference The first Tree Conference was held in November 2017 and was a big success. We spoke to the founder Suzi Martineau, ahead of the second conference on October 21st 2018 in Frome. What inspired you to set up the Tree Conference? The Tree Conference supports the networking of the amazing different groups, projects and individuals who are working on behalf of trees and have areas of research or practical experience that others can gain from learning about. The Tree Conference’s themes are: • Supporting people to halt destruction of old growth forests. • Publicising the best modern science about trees and their contributions. • Facilitating large-scale reforestation projects and methods. Tell us about yourself: I am a teacher of mathematics and mother of two small girls. Therefore I’m really invested in the next generation. I’ve worked in theatre, local regional publishing and environmental events. How are you linked to ITF? We invited ITF Chief Executive, Andy Egan to last year’s conference where he highlighted that the way we were working reminded him of Richard St. Barbe Baker who is often quoted as someone who ‘inspired a love of trees’. Since then we have become an independent project working in partnership with ITF under their joyous wing. Why do you love trees? I have a very strong relationship with them which

increased when I was emotionally challenged as a mother. I would feel supported by their presence and sitting with them helped me hold myself and reflect on what I needed. It’s so deep in who I am that it must be innate. As I developed the habit of sitting with different species I noted different themes in my journals. I started researching those themes and found that some of the most fascinating modern science refers to trees. Why get these people together in the same room? I wanted to meet the scientists and project leaders myself! Plus when you’re as obsessed as I am you need to find other people to talk to otherwise you drive your family and friends mad. Mainly though I wanted to hold a safe space for discussion that unites foresters, conservationists and ‘untrained’ tree lovers alike because we need to be co-evolving strategically and quickly. Plus the real stories about what people are doing are not always well publicised in our current media or sufficiently well articulated in the classrooms of our young adults. What ARE you LOOKING FORWARD TO AT THE CONFERENCE THIS year? It’s got to be the panel discussion. Last year we had John Tucker from the Woodland Trust who focuses on planting deciduous native trees for their biodiverse properties. Dr David Read, lead scientist for Combating Climate Change and Isla McLeod, a tree empath speaking about human connection with trees. It is a safe space for speakers to trust each other’s experience base and work on a strategy together arising from their love of trees and desire to support the Earth’s community at this time. That’s what its about for me.

Suzi Martineau - Founder and Director of The Tree Conference To find out more and get your ticket go to: Photo by Michael Mathias


Saving SheffIeld’s Trees

Officers responded to a campaigner’s FoI request by confirming that trees should be replaced at a “rate of not less than 200 per year so that 17,500 highway trees are replaced by the end of the term.”

By Fran Halsall, Communications and Educational Outreach for Sheffield Tree Action Group (STAG) Photos by Fran Halsall and Pixelwitch

SheffIeld’s reputatiOn As a green city is being cut tO pieces


rban trees are championed as a cost-effective means of addressing the impacts of climate change, yet Sheffield City Council has authorised the removal of several thousand of them. Campaigners are still trying to understand why. In 2006 the Council commissioned a survey of the city’s stock of around 36,000 street trees. The ‘Elliott Report’ found 10,000 warranted remedial action, although only 1,000 required outright felling. It recorded 74% of them as mature – unsurprising considering that many were planted in the 1800s. WHEN DID ‘MATURE’ BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH APPROACHING DEATH?


n 2012 the Council signed the ‘Streets Ahead’ Private Finance Initiative deal with contractor Amey to upgrade the city’s highways. During the intervening years the Elliott Report had unfathomably become the justification for ‘replacing’ 6,000 street trees by the end of 2017. Despite official denials of a target figure for tree replacement, the Council’s own Officers responded to a campaigner’s Freedom of Information request by confirming that trees should be replaced at a “rate of not less than 200 per year so that 17,500 highway trees are replaced by the end of the term.”



ouncil Leader Julie Dore has stated that 74% of street trees were ‘nearing the end of life’ – but when did ‘mature’ become synonymous with approaching death? It is theoretically possible that three-quarters of Sheffield’s trees could die around the same time. So it would be good for the city’s trees to have more diverse ages, but no other city cuts down healthy mature trees to make room for saplings. The primary reasons given for felling are kerbstone displacement and pavement disruption. These common problems associated with urban trees have everyday solutions such as raised ramps or the use of Flexipave around roots, solutions not used in Sheffield despite the Council’s claims otherwise. National guidance on kerbs allows deviation from straight lines and for kerbstone removal - tree felling should be a ‘last resort’. But the Council’s insistence on straight kerbs has condemned many healthy trees unnecessarily.


ighway problems have nothing to do with future-proofing tree stock. Instead, the situation reveals a Council panicked into action over ageing trees and eager to use highway-

renewal funding to solve a nonexistent ‘problem’. Only they have overreached themselves, both in terms of the numbers to be replaced and the 25-year timescale in which to do it. The felling programme began making ripples in 2015 and the first local tree groups developed organically as news spread. Sheffield Tree Action Group (STAG) was formed in August that year as an umbrella group to represent collective interests, and citizens took to defending threatened trees by peacefully standing underneath their boughs, a strategy that was initially successful. 5AM DAWN RAIDS The tone changed in November 2016 when two campaigners were charged under Section 241* for refusing to move from under a tree. Later that month three more arrests took place on Rustlings Road, the scene of 5am ‘dawn raids’. By the end of the year approximately 5,000 trees had been felled and more arrests were to follow. For many the campaign was no longer just about the trees, as it became clear that police were supporting those in power over the rights of protestors. In June 2017 the Council took out an Injunction against named campaigners and ‘persons unknown’, to prevent protest. If they thought they had won the battle then they had seriously underestimated tree-protectors. Highly mobilised and resilient

campaigners managed to Although felling is permitted limit felling for the rest of 2017. automatically when deemed essential under the Highways Act, anything else requires a licence to be sought. Campaigners have consistently challenged the legal basis for removing healthy trees when common solutions, which could have saved most trees lost, were ignored.


mey responded by deploying a “specially-trained stewarding team”. After a week-long standoff on Meersbrook Park Road the Council announced a felling pause on 25th January, citing fears for their staff’s safety. No evidence was presented to support claims of violence. Yet in local media much was made of masked protestors, without pausing to reflect that aggression came not from tree-protectors but from security operatives authorised to use ‘reasonable force’. The face coverings were worn solely to prevent campaigners being recognised and charged with breaching the Injunction.


elling resumed with police support a month later with up to 30 police officers attending fellings along with private security. Further arrests followed and the police involvement sparked additional controversy, as fewer officers were available for duties throughout the rest of the city. In March, the Forestry Commission launched an investigation.



felling pause that continues to date was announced on 26th March. In recognition of the impasse senior Councillors raised the idea of ‘compromise’ so that future protest was unnecessary, without clarifying what this meant. This new-found willingness to engage with STAG did not prevent four campaigners being taken to court in June for violating the Injunction. Nor did it figure a month later when the Council were granted an 18-month extension to the Injunction. Throughout the last three years STAG has repeatedly sought meaningful dialogue with the Council. A breakthrough came this August when the Council announced that mediated talks would be chaired by the Bishop of Sheffield. Although campaigners hope for a new era of openness, we go into negotiations with a degree of scepticism. So much has been sacrificed to reach this point; but if we can spare the mature street trees still at risk it will have been worth it.


If we look after the woods, the woods will look after us By Sue Pitt, ITF Fruit-full Communities Officer


n 1948 the World Health Organisation defined health as not merely the absence of disease, but as a positive state of physical, mental and social wellbeing. The implication of this is that our health and wellbeing isn’t just determined by biological factors, but is profoundly influenced by our social context. In the UK, when the National Health Service was established in the same year, it was assumed that the provision of free services would soon make people well. Increasingly, however, it is clear that wellness doesn’t necessarily derive directly from medical interventions, but is dependent on how we live our lives in a broader sense. In 2008 the New Economics Foundation identified the ‘Five ways to Wellbeing’:

• Connect with the people around you – family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. • Be active – get some kind of exercise that is appropriate for your level of fitness and mobility. • Take notice – be curious and notice beautiful things around you. • Keep learning – try new things and learn new skills. • Give – do something for others and give back to your community.


ost of us know from personal experience how a visit to a beautiful green space can provide the perfect antidote to the busy, noisy, grey environment that surrounds us in cities. Trees have a special power to create an atmosphere that is enclosing and absorbing. It is not surprising that they should, as they have been our natural environment for thousands of years and have provided us with our most basic needs of shelter, warmth and food.


n Japan there has been considerable research into the benefits of Shirin Yoku. The physiological responses of people exposed to the sights, sounds and smells of the woods have been measured. It has been found that blood pressure, pulse rates and cortisol levels are all reduced in response to these things. Mindful walking in a woodland environment has been shown to be particularly beneficial, and can even help to control blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. In response, the Japanese government has started to build health centres in the woods to enable people to benefit from the woodland environment.


odern life doesn’t always make this easy, however. Over the last fifty years there has been a significant erosion of local communities in our increasingly urban lives. Both children and adults have become less physically active because of the increasing reliance on screenbased activities and fears for children’s safety. People spend less time outdoors and have become detached from the natural world. It can be hard to find time to take notice of the world around us, to observe the changing seasons or help a neighbour in need. It seems to be this lack of connection with ourselves, with each other and with the natural world that lies at the heart of our lack of wellness.


‘Invocation’ original painting and lyric by Robin Williamson


n the UK, research by the Blarbuie Woodland Partnership revealed the impact of developing an area of woodland around Argyll and Bute Psychiatric Hospital to make it accessible for walking and other activities. Mental health service users were involved in carrying out the work to improve the woodland along with other members of the local community. All of the participants felt that visiting the woodland benefitted their health in some way and 85% reported an improvement in their mental health and wellbeing. Many other projects, such as Hazel Hill Trust in Wiltshire and Woods for Wellbeing in Shropshire, are based on this understanding that immersion in woodland will have a beneficial effect on our wellbeing. It seems that when people become actively engaged in the sustainable management of woodland, they are rewarded with the most significant benefits for their own wellbeing. If we look after the woods, then the woods will look after us.



uring the Fruit-full Communities project it has been clear that participants have responded positively to being closer to nature. At many of the sites the outdoor space available to residents was very limited and often consisted of a small paved area where people went to smoke. In these places, the addition of trees to provide shade, fruit, green leaves and blossom made a significant difference.


t Sheffield Foyer planting an orchard in the grounds of their accommodation was seen as a way to enhance the ‘psychologically informed environment’ which would facilitate the journey of recovery for residents. At Warrington Foyer residents used the opportunity to improve seating and create a decorative mosaic, creating a place where they can go to socialise and to get some ‘head space’. Both of these are really important for their residents mental wellbeing.


closely linked to the ‘I am Whole’ campaign run by YMCA England and the NHS. This campaign aims to help young people to challenge the stigma often associated with mental health problems and gives them the opportunity to speak out and tell their own stories. Their new orchard provides the perfect environment for this as it has space for reflection and quiet communication away from the stresses of modern urban life. David Finn, Programmes and Participation Manager, commented that “our service users have undoubtedly developed a new appreciation and understanding of the natural world around them, whilst at the same time learning about themselves and how to work with others.”


ulia Walling, founder of Woods for Wellbeing, describes this as a ‘co-connective’ model of wellbeing in which, through conservation activities in woodland, people connect more effectively with themselves, with others and with the woodland itself. This manifests most effectively in ‘Social Forestry’, the practice of creating and managing activities designed to mutually benefit the natural environment and human health and wellbeing. For those involved in sustainable development this term would more commonly be associated with tree planting initiatives in India in the 1970s, but here is has a different meaning. Whether or not they are described as Social Forestry, there are an increasing number of projects that seek to reconnect people with nature in order to promote wellbeing. By bringing together the two strands of sustainable management of our natural resources and the promotion of human health, there can be no doubt that they will make a significant contribution to two of the most urgent issues we face today.

t YMCA Derbyshire, the project was Tree planting at the Warrington YMCA through the Fruit-full communities Project 15



n 2016 I was a resident at YMCA North Staffordshire when we were approached by the Fruit-full Communities to create an orchard in our outdoor space. A group of us visited an orchard in Congleton to learn about the orchard fruits and how we could bring something similar back to our YMCA. We also tasted lots of their apple juice! Together we designed an orchard in the strip of land next to the football pitches. I did a bit of research on what the potential orchard could look like and how it could serve our community. What would we do with the fruits? All the young people did a vote and we decided that we wanted to make apple cider, bottle it up and sell it at our community meals. It was something different that I’d never done before.

up a new world. You get to meet people with similar interests and it was interesting to find out about why trees are important for us. They help you breathe, for one. The other YMCAs have all got orchards so we’ve got something in common and it bring us all together. It gives our young people new skills, like making the benches. It was a big job. It took months of planning and organising and it still is now. There are jobs to be done all year round, like pruning and watering. Some of the trees have got problems with the leaves so we need to work out how to make them better. Some have been vandalised as well.


hether it was raining or snowing we were still sitting outside eating chocolate and popcorn from the fire pit, we had a right laugh. We all put in a lot of hard work and effort and have something long lasting to show for it. It’s going to be here forever. At the Our Bright Future youth forum we got to meet some amazing people doing similar but very different projects – all doing something good for the environment. It shows that little by little all the projects have a really big impact together.


iving in an urban area we don’t often spend a lot of time outdoors so it’s nice to sit outside and relax in the fresh air. It’s not that safe down at the park near here - there have been a lot of incidents. So it’s nice to have a safe place to be outside. If anyone is ever feeling a bit stressed I say to them, come down to the orchard and have a smoke. Just take a step back from life. Before this project I didn’t really care about the environment or know anything about trees. Now I know how to plant and look after them. It opens

his summer, I came to ITF’s conference in Sheffield about the struggle to protect the city’s trees (see pages 11-12). I had to sit on the panel and I got to meet all the tree huggers. I didn’t think I would ever do anything like that. I got talking to an old woman and was really touched by what she had been doing to protect the trees – it was quite upsetting. I didn’t know you could get arrested for looking after trees. It was interesting to learn about what other people have been going through in Sheffield and why. I’m glad because I’ve learnt so much and I can share the stories and the skills with other young people. Now I work at the YMCA as an Activities Coordinator and I’m just about to start doing a part-time PGCE in Art and Design Teaching for 16+ at Leek College. I live in a YMCA house that I share with my friend. It’s been a good journey.



A global Tree hero Y

ears later, this archival collection is one of the primary sources that author Paul Hanley has drawn upon in writing his superb biography Man of the Trees: Richard St. Barbe Baker, The First Global Conservationist.


Hugh locke reviews the brand new biography of ITF founder Richard st. barbe baker

his thoughtful, nuanced, and forthright book perfectly captures the St. Barbe I knew. He was a supremely gifted man whom I came to think of as a fearless earth restoration explorer, boldly going where others either feared or failed, and always with a plan that centered either on tree planting or tree preservation. With every escapade, Hanley helps us understand St. Barbe’s extraordinary drive and sense of mission There was no challenge too extreme, no personage too grand or too humble, and no opportunity too improbable to be enlisted in some way to further the cause of trees. Perhaps St. Barbe’s greatest impact is felt through the influence he had, and is still having on individuals. Hanley gives us a glimpse of just a few of these contemporary figures to anchor that influence in the now and allude to what it portends for the future.



ane Goodall got it right when she asked, “Why have we not heard of this extraordinary Man of the Trees, Richard St. Barbe Baker?” She went on to say, “I am amazed by his life and accomplishments. He is one of my heroes.” I came to count him as a hero as well.


ot long after meeting St. Barbe, as his friends called him, I made an audacious offer to help him manage the remaining years of his life. My offer was twofold: to help him reach a new audience with his message about the role of trees in earth restoration and, secondly, to assist in gathering his widely scattered papers and records to ensure his legacy endured.


hen he was with me in London for part of each year, we gathered a large trove of his personal papers that had been deposited with friends in various attics and sheds and put them in basic order. At his passing in 1982, having been appointed by St. Barbe as joint literary trustee along with his friend Michael Thompson, I arranged for those papers to be donated to the University of Saskatchewan where he had been a student in the inaugural class in 1909.

ith the benefit of perspective, we can now see how far ahead of his time St. Barbe was. As HRH The Prince of Wales puts it in the foreword to the book:

“It is now clear that had we heeded the warnings of St. Barbe Baker and other visionaries, we might have avoided a good deal of the environmental crises we face today. It is not too late. We can save our forests and reclaim the deserts if, as the motto of the Men of the Trees—Twahamwe—puts it, we ‘pull together as one.’ Richard St. Barbe Baker’s message is as relevant today as it was ninety years ago….” ‘Man Of The Trees, Richard St. Barbe Baker, The First Global Conservationist’ by Paul Hanley is published by University of Regina Press and available from online booksellers. Hugh Locke is President of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance. With his co-founder Timote Georges, he has developed an innovative “tree currency” model whereby farmers earn the seeds, tools and training they need to significantly improve their agricultural output by planting more than 7 million trees to date in Haiti.


Eternal Forest Written and photographed by Evgenia Emets THE FOREST HAS TIME OF ITS OWN


eeing forests grow helps us to see through time, imagining a reality beyond our lifetime. It takes 100 years for an average tree to grow whereas a restoration of a biodiverse forest ecosystem requires a 1,000 years — a 1,000 years of patience and continuity between generations of humans caring for that ecosystem.


he forest has time of its own. For us it is a sense of timelessness, a feeling of things ‘taking forever’. Thinking about the forest pushes us out of our normal scale of time to think about centuries and millennia - a ‘deep time’. If the forest seems slow to us, it appears near instantaneous when we consider the timescale of planetary formation. Thinking about deep time enables us to experience existence in deep time. What we plant today forms the collective past of future generations. The nature we plant just as much as the buildings we erect directly reflects who we are and how we see ourselves. One tree is not a forest. A monoculture of identical trees planted next to each other in rows cannot support a thriving ecosystem. These monoculture plantations are more associated with mechanical rather than natural systems, so similar to our cities, industries - a structure of life dominated by straight lines with an increasingly negative impact on our life on Earth.


Our previously diverse culture is rapidly turning into a monoculture - a world view dictated by mechanistic design that imposes itself on nature.


aunched in 2018 the Eternal Forest art project and documentary explore our relationship with forests and nature in a Portuguese setting. Through interviews with local people from Góis, Arganil and Lousã, in the Central part of Portugal, Eternal Forest shares memories, stories and ideas. Here we hear the voices of ordinary people living in the area, who were deeply affected by monoculture, deforestation, lack of natural habitat and the devastating fires of 2017. This project is an attempt to understand what in our culture creates patterns that hold us back from stepping forward towards the meaningful change that is needed in our society. In other words, what are the opportunities for immediate action and for a creation of a long-term vision? he devastation of nature in Portugal is undeniably a complex issue including the disappearance of biodiverse forests, widespread monoculture plantations, the breakdown of communities, incapacity of people to stand up against corporate and government policies. And as a consequence fires are wiping out whole villages and forests. Destroying all the living. Eternal Forest opens a new dimension to the dialogue about the relationship of humanity and forests through exploring our emotional and spiritual relationship and connection with nature - a deeper connection that biodiverse forests represent, a space in which both humans and nature can thrive.



ternal Forest is a long term and open project, which will consist of exploratory and participatory art. I would like to make another documentary that would discuss solutions which exist for reforestation all around Europe and a pilot project of artistic reforestation of land in Portugal in 2018-2019. One view of this longterm vision is to create 1,000 hectares for 1,000 years of natural, biodiverse forests which would belong to local communities who would become the guardians of the forest, transforming the relationship between human and nature. A transition from a pure consumer attitude of “what can I get from this land?” to the guardian “what can I do to protect and enhance the health and thriving biodiversity of this forest?”

“I soar between Ridges of mountains Vast expanse Valley after valley Streams come down From all directions Unstoppable flow Meandering Eternal Forest Everything is motion My gaze connects all My ears hear Continuity of sound Life is never quiet Beyond time I see no borders Every living being Is essential The future is mutual We must imagine 1000 years It is a slow turning”

Evgenia Emets is a Fine Artist who in 2018 made a documentary, Eternal Forest, focused on the relationship between humans and forests in Portugal. The project is ongoing, to connect with the project, see the film, and support, please follow: and To support the current stage of the project through donations visit the Gofundme Campaign:


multi purpose mangroves the importance of planting trees by Ali Abdalla Juma, Executive Director, Zanzibar Associantion for Climate Change Resilience


e at Zanzibar Association for Climate Change Resilience (ZACCR), work in Tanzania with ITF planting mangrove trees. Through our Community Based Forest Management Project we have planted more than 35,000 trees including these mangrove trees in collaboration with our local communities.


angrove trees are used by several animals as habitats, they act as wind breaks and a forest of them makes for one of the best places for making an apiary for keeping bees.

In 2018 we were able to plant 15,000 mangrove seedlings in Muyuni B Village, where more than 95% still survive and in 2019 we aim to plant 50,000 mangrove seedlings in another village in South District.


he mangrove tree is very important, acting as a carbon sink, which filtrates the water, works as a major breeding area for fish and stabilises the soil where it helps to reduce the rate of shore erosion. These projects are supported through ITF’s Sustainable Community Forestry Programme. The programme provides funding to community-based organisations (CBO’s) to deliver community-level participatory projects that conserve and restore local forest resources and associated biodiversity, improve local livelihoods through sustainable use of trees and related income generation and increase resilience to climate change. These projects were made possible thanks to the kind support of Wessanen UK, their staff, and generous donations to our Tsunami appeal in 2004.


Protecting a sacred forest working in an ancient settlement By Mike Kermah, Project Officer, Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (CSRAD)


hough the community has a conservation plan for its protection, Montonnso lacks formal conservation status. Also, some bordering communities are unaware of its sacredness, conservation status and sustainable use plan, and so undertake indiscriminate harvesting of forest resources, thus prompting strengthened protection.


he project is focused on creating awareness about the sacred forest, national forest and wildlife policies. It also aims to increase forest cover through boundary and enrichment planting in the sacred forest, cocoa agroforestry systems, private tree plantation establishments and tree registration processes in the bordering communities.


018 was eventful, with awareness and education on the sacred forest improved with at least 700 people directly benefiting, 13,000 native timber trees contributed to global forest cover and farmers trained in cocoa agroforestry systems. In 2019, we aim to contribute an additional 12,000 timber and fruit trees, map the cocoa agroforestry farms for tracking and safeguarding of the planted trees.


ontonnso is an indigenous and community protected sacred forest located at Saamang stool land in western Ghana. It was an ancient settlement site for the indigenous people of present-day Saamang. The sacred forest harbours a large diversity of flora and fauna species of global significance classified as endangered according to the IUCN Red List of endangered species, which require protection.


he ancient people realising the rich existence of diversity of the fauna and indigenous trees of economic, medicinal, ecological and cultural significance moved to settle at the present Saamang stool land and declared the forest sacred. The forest is still home to a wide diversity of endangered fauna and flora species of national and global significance and supports the livelihoods of over 4,000 rural people within its catchment.


In the forest of our childhood Written by Iryn Tushabe Illustrated by Moira Zahra


was born under a pawpaw tree in Kiyoima village on the edge of Kibale Forest in Western Uganda. Now, thirty-three years later, I live in Saskatchewan, a province in Canada that I’d read about in my North American Geography lessons at Kibubura Girls’ Secondary School. The flat-flat terrain covered with fields of wheat; the long winters with short days, the hot summers with short nights. On paper it sounded poignant; exotic. What I didn’t know when I came here following love and the promise of a better university degree were the details. That the winter season lasted close to six months each year; that during this time grey skies smothered the sun’s warmth and the air grew sharp teeth. I write stories for a living now and perhaps that constant visiting with my past is what has deepened the longing for my childhood spent near the forest. Whenever I attempt to write about my family’s life there, my mind grows quiet in the swelling bubble of soft memories. There are the animals – baboons, monkeys, colourful birds with long beaks. I can smell the fragrance of sunny days that lingered like overripe fruit. I close my eyes and hear a cicada chorus at night. I also hear the sound of my mother’s open-hearted laugh. There’s Charlie Pride on Dad’s record player singing All I have to offer you is me. It’s 2016 and my husband has spent a hundred thousand Airmiles points (and quite a bit of money) to buy me a ticket home. I’ve managed to convince my siblings, Patience and Dora, to join me on a trip back to Kiyoima, back to the place where we first experienced the world in a small brick house that hugged the forest. We haven’t been back there since 1992 when, by presidential decree, we (and many other families) were evicted from our land so that it would be consolidated into the just-formed Kibale National Park. Dad will meet us in Bigodi, a trading centre thirty minutes away from Kiyoima, and less than an hour by taxi from our second childhood home in Kamwenge, where he still lives. We leave Patience’s house in Kampala three days after my arrival. Dora and her daughter Maria slept over the night before so that we could hit the road at the crack of dawn. We’ve hired a driver, a quiet Muganda man named Kyeyune. He has a head shaved so clean it glistens in the predawn light.


fter seven hours on the highway, we wind our way into Fort Portal town. On a map of Uganda, run your finger southwest from the capital, Kampala, and now you’re with us. Move it east over Kibale National Park and right there, on the other side of the forest, is Bigodi trading centre where Dad waits for us. A left turn after the bridge over River Mpangaus to a dusty murram road. Soon, our car is grinding up a steep incline, kicking up loose gravel. The hilltop offers a breathtaking view – a wide vista of tea plantations



rolling greenly into Kibale Forest, which rises then falls away to the foothills of Rwenzori Mountains, known to us as the Mountains of the Moon. “Man alive,” I exclaim. “You romanticise this place,” Dora says, distractedly rubbing my niece’s back. “It’s all those brutal winters of Saskatchewan,” offers Patience; she who has a degree in Psychology and Counselling. I marvel at the long shadows in the meadows, at the afternoon light spilling golden on the tightly terraced hills. It’s all so picturesque. Exotic like Saskatchewan was ten years ago; when it conjured for me green-gold wheat fields and greeting cards with images of snow gently falling on cedars. Why do we love most the places that least belong to us? I’ve become a tourist in my own home. Kyeyune pulls over to the roadside in Bigodi and Dad emerges from a convenience shop. I run to him. He wears a sun hat and seems to have lost at least two inches of his height since I last saw him five years ago. My embrace nearly topples him. “What have you been eating in Canada?” He laughs. “Ogomokire!” “But you’ve shrunk, Dad,” I say in Rukiga, the language of our birth. He guffaws and claps his hands. He may be small at seventy-five years old but, for now at least, he remains strong, his voice robust. He rounds up some passenger motorcycles. A boda boda for him, one for Maria and Dora, another for Patience and me. Kyeyune elects to wait with the car in Bigodi. The unpaved road to Kiyoima is circuitous and ribboned with finger hollows. Our boda boda bangs in and out of potholes; it’s impossible to sustain a conversation with Patience, who is sandwiched between the cyclist and me. So, we ride quietly and stare at the passing fields. Everything seems different but what did I expect? Time alters everything in touches. The swamp that often flooded is bone-dry. There are matchbox houses with tin roofs. We ride past others built of mud and wattle with thatch domes for roofs. The church we attended and the nearby buildings that constituted our nursery school are in a state of decline. A group of shirtless boys abandon their game of soccer on the school’s sprawling compound and chase after us, waving as if they know us. A quick two minutes later, the bikes come to an abrupt stop. We’ve reached the end of the road, right here in the middle of someone’s banana plantation. We dismount and wander down a path that leads to a mud shack with a rusted iron sheet roof. A young man and woman sit on a mat in front of the house sorting cured tobacco leaves. Dad approaches the couple. “Charles?” he says, tentatively at first. “Little Charles!” He stands, tilting his head. “You’re who, sir?” 24

“G.G Ntwirenabo and company limited.” He’s a flamboyant man, my father. “Mr. G.G!” Charles gapes. “Then you must be Patience. And you’re Doreen. And you’re Iryn.” The youngest of four siblings whose parents were our family friends, Charles was the same age as I was when we packed up and left. We take turns embracing him, then he introduces his wife to us. His shy son, a bit older than Maria, hides behind a vigorous coffee bush whose branches droop with ripe cherries. As Maria runs off to join the boy, Charles tells us his siblings moved away to Bigodi and Fort Portal, his parents to another village near Bigodi. He inquires after the rest of our family. “Where have you left Aunt Anna and Magezi and my best friend, Alex?” “I’m afraid they’re the ones who’ve left us, son.” Dad’s voice gets thin. My oldest brother Magezi was the first to die in 2000; lung cancer, we think. Mum followed him nine months later, the length of time she’d carried him in her womb. Patience puts her hand on Dad’s back as he speaks of my brother Alex’s more recent death: a motorcycle accident that had him in a coma for a few days before finally claiming his life. The setting sun edges the sky with fire as Charles leads us past the border of Kibale Forest National Park. He parts dense elephant grass and cuts stubborn reeds with his panga to make a way for us into the jungle. After about ten minutes of walking, the elephant grass opens out to a much shorter underbrush of ferns and yam-like plants with broad leaves shaped like hearts. There are trees that seem about half a kilometre tall. Dad pats the fat trunk of one he’s sure he or Mum planted. “It was a requirement, you see,” he says. “If you showed you could take good care of the land you’d been given, you got to keep it.” He looks around wistfully and I know he’s picturing our life here, if here still belonged to us. He contested our eviction all the way up to the High Court. In the end he came away with financial compensation and a deadline to leave. “Amatafaari,” Charles beckons us to where he crouches amongst a thicket of creeping vines. Bricks. We hurry over to him and squat down to touch the debris. It’s soft with moisture and crumbles to red dust between our fingers. Dad sighs as he claps his hands clean of the dust. He says, “If we told anyone that we lived here once, they’d laugh and call us mad.” For a long while we stand and watch Maria chase butterflies around our forest with roots so deep it will outlive us all. Iryn Tushabe is a writer and independent journalist; a native of Uganda currently living in Saskatchewan, Canada. Her creative nonfiction has been nominated for the CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize.

Twitter: @wordsweaver Instagram: sunshineiryn Illustrated by Moira Scicluna Zahra

This is an abridged-version of the full story, originally published by adda can be found at:


restoring mount bamboutos


n August 2018, ITF and the Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) launched the Mount Bamboutos Initiative (MBI) – aiming to restore 35,000 hectares of degraded mountain ecosystem with 15 million trees over 15 years, while improving the quality of lives of the local and indigenous communities.


ount Bamboutos is one of Cameroon’s key watersheds, and cuts across three regions of the country: South West, North West and West.

us to launch Phase 1 of MBI, which will run with the full involvement of the local communities. A strength of the project is its network of stakeholders and supporters ranging from government ministries to traditional rulers to the farmers and pastoralists – women, men and young people. Four local civil society organisations have joined us to implement the project across the three regions. ERuDeF and ITF are geared towards ensuring food security and economic resilience for the 30,000 households around Mount Bamboutos while also restoring the mountain ecosystem on which they all rely. Integrating women and gender considerations in the programme is vital.


More than 20 villages and 30,000 people depend on the mountain and its natural resources for their livelihoods. It was considered one of Africa’s most biodiversity rich mountains, with endemic species and restricted ranges of globally threatened species. Today Mount Bamboutos has been almost completely degraded due to human pressures. Most of the original forest cover has been lost and parts of the mountain are used for livestock pasture and intensive market gardening. As vegetation cover has been reduced, the rich biodiversity has been lost, and the streams that flow from the mountain are drying up.


e are delighted that support from TreeSisters and the Darwin Initiative (funded by the UK Government) has allowed


n the South West flank TreeSisters are supporting us to restore 3,000 hectares by planting, regenerating and caring for 600,000 trees: 400,000 native trees in community, riparian and sacred forests, and 200,000 agroforestry trees on farms. On the West and North West flanks, the Darwin Initiative is supporting our drive to restore 3,000 hectares of forests and biodiversity habitat with 300,000 native trees, and 200,000 agroforestry trees to increase tree cover on farmland.


he agroforestry tree species will include valuable native, fruit-tree and soil improving species, and avoid invasive species.


one of this will be possible without the support of the communities and their involvement in participatory land use planning. Before actual tree planting starts, we engage deeply with local communities and stakeholders on the restoration and sustainable management of the Bamboutos ecosystems. Field staff have been recruited and tree nurseries have been established to raise native, agroforestry, fruit and non-timber forest product trees. At the same time the Cameroon Mountains University Network has helped us identify key baseline research topics.


ne remarkable step forward is the creation of the Mount Bamboutos Fons’ Association, with the Fons (traditional rulers and kings of the area) pledging unflinching support. “We the traditional rulers of Mount Bamboutos Area have come together so that we can collaborate for the success of this project. We cannot live without trees, because they protect our environment and soil from erosion,” His Royal Majesty, MOMO KEUBO Serge, Acting President of the Mount Bamboutos Fons’ Association noted. The village Fons have set aside community lands for tree nurseries.

“Our cattle used to have drinking water within our surrounding. Today they move long distances in search of water, even during the rainy season. Water bodies that used to flow continuously have dried up due to the cutting down of trees. If trees are planted around water sources, they will protect the water table and help remedy the water crises” - Alhadji Oumarou, Chief of the pastoralist community in Mt. Bamboutos.


n Phase 1, MBI aims to increase the incomes of 930 women through capacity building, agroforestry and development and value addition of non-timber forest products. Already 330 women have been sensitized on restoration and sustainable management. Two have been recruited as field technicians and 20 participated in the establishment of tree nurseries. Meanwhile a Women and Gender Officer has been recruited to provide guidance across MBI. Women are excited about this empowering project

“I think the project has come to help us in many ways. We have been suffering from landslides in that area for many years. I believe that if we the women are trained and engaged in tree planting, as you have started, the trees will hold the soil firm and save us from natural disasters” - Mrs Lekunze, Women’s Group Leader in Bamumbu.


ost community members are now aware of the negative consequences of the degradation of the mountain to their socio-economic wellbeing and are willing to redress the situation through tree planting.

he MBI will run in three five-year phases until 2033. The support of communities and stakeholders will be vital to overcome the challenges ahead. By then we expect that a long term funding mechanism will have been established and a conservation trust fund set up to ensure that the benefits of the initiative can be sustained into the longer term. By B. Shancho Ndimuh with contributions from DehNji and Elong Smith


ommunity members think this project is coming at an opportune moment.


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A global community of people planting trees We support our community partners living around forests to improve conservation, biodiversity, wildlife habitats and local people’s livelihoods. Support their efforts with a gift today. There are many ways to support our work from fundraising in your community to leaving a gift in your will. To make a regular donation, or for more information on any of our work, visit our website or send a cheque. Call 01865 318836 and speak to our fundraising team, who can take your donation over the phone. Send a cheque made out to International Tree Foundation to International Tree Foundation, Unit 1 Kings Meadow, Osney Mead Oxford, OX2 0DP Or visit

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