At Monmouth Rowing Club (MRC) we are lucky enough to be based in one of just thirty-four designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the UK, and one of only five located within Wales. It’s easy to take the spectacular setting for granted while completing that tenth 500 metre piece or finishing off that 16km session in horizontal rain; however, like many places it needs protecting and enhancing for current and future generations to enjoy.
As a club we are looking at ways to reduce our impact and, where possible, improve the surrounding environment. To date we have already invested in solar panels with the electricity generated largely used to heat the water tanks. Our latest project involves the planting of a new hedgerow between the river and the A40, separating the club owned field from the neighbouring land.
As part of the ‘My Tree, Our Forest’ scheme run by the Woodland Trust and sponsored by the Welsh Government, MRC were able to obtain 500 trees comprising a mixture of hawthorn, blackthorn, dogwood, hazel and sessile oak. All work related to the new hedgerow has been undertaken by club members and their families, notably, Peter Kelsall and Jonathan Keyte who used their forestry and horticulture expertise to plan the planting as well as to decide on the most appropriate mix of trees. Andrew Barnett installed a new fence to protect the hedgerow from any grazing stock in the adjacent field. Peter and Jonathan additionally prepared the land and planted the hedgerow, the latter with some help from Rosie and Will Kelsall.
It is hoped that the new planting will develop into a valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife in the local area, whilst potentially contributing in a small way to flood alleviation in future years.
Our thanks go to all those involved including Maria Wilding of the Woodland Trust for her help in obtaining the trees, Peter and Jonathan for all of the planning and prepation, Andrew for installing the fence and, of course, the Kelsall family for planting the 500 trees.
If anyone has any suggestions for our next sustainable venture, please reach out to the committee.