Planting ceremony for Canterbury campus ‘river of vegetation’

The University is creating a ‘river of vegetation’ across the Canterbury campus. The ‘river’ has been developed by the Sustainability Team and Landscape and Grounds Team to act as natural signposting and a wildlife corridor between two flagship project areas that celebrate biodiversity, community engagement and sustainable food – the Kent Community Oasis Garden and Diamond Anniversary Orchard.

This will help create a high amenity and high pollen value trail that acts as a wildlife corridor, foraging trail, and a useful education tool with interpretation on key sustainability issues such as sustainable food, climate crisis, and ecological breakdown.

Along the river will be a variety of 50 new trees, selected for specific characteristics e.g. food production, medicinal properties, climate tolerance etc. These trees have been kindly donated to the University by the Kent Men of the Trees (KMOTT).

The aim of KMOTT is to enhance a love of trees and to encourage everyone to plant and protect trees in Kent and, in the words of their founder, to be ‘a society of tree lovers working to create a universal tree sense and encourage all to plant, protect and love trees everywhere’.

On Wednesday 5 March, University representatives were joined by representatives from KMOTT who helped get 20 of these donated trees in the ground. Twenty espalier apples were planted on central campus as one feature of the river, which will create a fruiting hedgerow and natural barrier in years to come.

The trees form part of the edible element that will allow students, staff and visitors to forage fruit and nuts on campus. The apples are of several species including Cox Orange Pippin, Laxtons Superb, Red Falstaff and Tydemans Late Orange.

Development of the ‘river’ will continue over the next couple of years in the run up to and in celebration of the University’s 60th Anniversary.