Thursday, 19 May 2022.

Five beautiful trees planted at Bechange gifted by R&A Open Golf Tournament

3 December, 2021

Dover District Council (DDC) is planting over 100 new trees across the district as part of National Tree Week, the UK’s largest annual tree celebration.

Some of the trees have been gifted to the district by The R&A, following The 149th Open at Royal St George’s, and already planted in Sandwich, the Bechange Community garden in Aylesham and at the Kearsney Parks in Dover.

Garden expert, Rachel Clark (who managed the beautiful kitchen garden at Walmer Castle Gardens for many years) works for ASPIRE in Aylesham and has planned the Bechange Community Garden for the charity. She said: “We are extremely grateful to the R&A for this tree donation. The trees will be a great asset, and, as the garden is quite open, they will provide valuable shade as well as beautiful vibrant autumn colour. Their contribution to wildlife will be really important, providing areas for nesting birds, food and shelter for insects, which in turn will increase the biodiversity across the whole garden.

“It’s important to have hierarchy and layers of planting in a garden, and all of the trees donated will help play a vital role in that. We garden organically and need to encourage as much wildlife as we can. They will also help form areas of quiet and contemplation where visitors can come and relax and just listen and feel part of nature, helping to improve their general wellbeing, which is a key component of the programme at ASPIRE.”

Cllr Oliver Richardson, DDC cabinet member for community and corporate property, said: “It’s always great to see new trees and hedgerows being planted to protect and enhance wildlife habitats in the district, and to enhance our public spaces.”

A small orchard will also be planted over the coming few months and ASPIRE participants will be able to help in all aspects of tree management within the garden.

The ASPIRE project’s mission is to deliver a FREE and  inclusive programme that develops healthy, skilled and working communities. ASPIRE supports people to make positive changes in their daily lives through gardening, cooking and wellbeing activities leading to communities that are healthy, skilled and working. It is based at the Bechange Community Hub in Aylesham.

Bechange works with adults, families and young people who need support to make lasting change. They work with communities throughout Dover District, providing support with skills and employment; finance and housing; and families and relationships.

Everyone is welcome. To get involved and take part in ASPIRE, please call 01304 840134 or email 

Follow on:

Facebook: @AspireProjectEastKent

Instagram: @ aspireeastkent

Twitter: @AspireKent

Information about the Bechange Community Garden’s new trees

There are three Robinia pseudoacacia trees which have yellowy/ lime leaves in Spring, turning golden yellow in Autumn. The pretty white pea like flowers hang elegantly down in May and June.

Another tree is the Ginkgo biloba, also known as the Maidenhair tree. It is well known as an ancient living fossil, as old as the dinosaurs dating back to the Early Jurassic period (170 million years ago). It also is one of the very few plants to survive the Hiroshima bomb from WW2. It’s a great addition to the garden, perhaps reaching 12-15metres in height and will be there for many more generations to come. It has been used in Chinese traditional medicine for many years and modern research suggests Ginkgo extract which is made from the leaves may help brain function and blood circulation. Having this tree on site will provide a great talking point with visitors.

The final tree is the Liquidambar or Sweet Gum. This is a big handsome tree with the most amazing autumn colour. The leaves are maple like which turn vibrant shades of red, orange and almost purple. The wood is hardwood and is often used in furniture as its likened to mahogany.