During Surrey Tree Week (1-8 March 2020), local MPs from across Surrey planted trees in their local constituencies. This was part of Surrey County Council’s commitment to planting 1.2 million trees throughout Surrey by 2030.
Dr David Ashton and Dr Ben Spencer
Dr Ben Spencer, MP for Runnymede and Weybridge and Dr David Ashton, Deputy Principal at Royal Holloway, University of London, planted the tree for Runnymede and Weybridge in Royal Holloway’s Egham campus. By the end of March, almost 50,000 trees will have been planted in Surrey.
Royal Holloway has a significant tree collection on campus, including a large proportion of mature trees, both native varieties and an interesting collection of unusual trees. The trees provide an essential role in terms of production of oxygen, storage of carbon, reducing water run-off and are rich habitat for wildlife, and at times, the subject of academic research.
In recent times, the replenishment of tree stock has been given an increasing focus at the university. There is a programme of winter tree planting which looks to manage the natural succession of woodlands and also provide a net increase in tree cover.
The tree planted by Dr Ben Spencer and Dr David Ashton can be seen down by the recently restored Founder’s Pond, behind the Founder’s Building. The pond provides sustainable drainage, biodiversity and wellbeing benefits. It serves an important function in providing a sustainable drainage route for rain water falling on Founder’s quads as set out in the original Victorian construction.
Accessibility around the pond has been improved with new footpaths and ramps along with new seating – providing students and staff with greater access to nature and improving wellbeing. The pond and waterfall areas sit within a natural microclimate that supports some noteworthy plants, further work to enhance the planting around the pond will continue during 2020.