Queen Elizabeth Circle Recreation Ground Planting

A project to plant a hedge and trees at QE Circle Recreation Area, Thame.

Where is it?

The QE Circle Recreation Area lies south-west of Tythrop Way – opposite the skatepark.  The current proposal relates to the ‘top’ north-west corner of the area, where a section of open ground lies between a hilly mound and a row of garages plus the rear of some gardens.
(What3words : ///conqueror.pinging.heap)

Overall project

We’ve had really a really great response from lots of residents around Thame supporting the planting of trees and hedges in this area.

Hopefully in the near future we will be talking about the next steps to planting more.

23rd November 2023 Planting Party

Click image to download pdf of map

Read all about the planting day here.

Following here was the planning for the planting of 23rd November 2022.

Maps showing the planting area

What is proposed?

There was talk of this being a memorial grove with surrounding hedge – but this has been superseded by funding from SODC and the residents not liking the idea of a surrounding hedge.

The current proposal is :

Hedge along the back of the garages and along the fence to the left

    1. The garages are around 30m – so we would be planting a hedge of 25m
    2. The fence to the left is around 10m – so we would be planting a hedge of 8m
    3. The hedge to be 1.5m from the garages to allow for lateral growth
    4. The area around the hedge to be mown only once or twice a year and not mown too short.
    5. Selection of plants nearest the garages : a handful of pot grown holly (Ilex aquifolium) and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). These would be protected from children’s footballs by other non thorney plants
    6. Selection of plants for line of hedge towards the play area from the garages : a zigzag of 5 plants per meter of Hazel (Corylus avellana) as the main planting, some field maple (Acer campestre). Finally nearer the ends you could plant clumps of guelder rose (Viburnum opulus) which has white flowers, red berries and autumn colour in the leaves.
    7. In the corner where the garages and the fence connect there could be a small copse of gelder rose
    8. The hedges at either end should stop short of the end of the garages and the fence
    9. To ensure that the hedge can’t be used to cloak undesirable behaviour it should be planted as an ‘open hedge’ with a double row at 1 metre spacing.
    10. The threat from browsing animals is low but from children could be high so it would be planted without using canes or guards that are likely to be removed.
    11. Ideally the trees would be 90 – 120cm (but bare rooted trees may not be available from nurseries until December – but cell grown may be available).
    12. The whole planting area should have 5cm of mulch

Clumps of trees :

  1. The central area could be multiple clumps of trees of the same type
  2. Clumps can be planted in odd numbers between 3 and 9 trees each 5-6m apart (The idea of the Queen’s Green Canopy has faded a little, but I wonder if we could have clumps of 7 trees, representing each decade of the Queen’s reign. As the area is called the QEC, we should consider acknowledging the end of the reign in an understated way.  A small plaque could serve as an incentive to “adopt”, look after the trees.)
  3. There can be additional lone trees too
  4. Clumps would be linked by a long ‘lozenge’ of longer grass to give a wildlife corridor. This inner area to be mown (cut and collect) twice a year as with the verges – with general mowing outside the lozenge area.
  5. Plants should be pot grown
  6. Plants should be pot grown around 1m to 1.5m tall
  7. They should be protected by 2 or 3 stakes with netting – protection from people/ balls / mowing
  8. Native trees to consider include
    1. Field maple – Acer campestre
    2. Norway maple – Acer platanoides
    3. English oak – Quercus robur
    4. Silver birch – Betula pendula
    5. Wild cherry – Prunus avium
    6. Hornbeam – Carpinus betulus
    7. Small leaved lime – Tilia cordata
    8. Rowan – Sorbus aucuparia
    9. Wild service tree – Sorbus torminalis
  9. Single more ornamental / non-native trees could also be appropriate in this parkland setting, the key is to match the tree to the soil / ground conditions.
  10. Plants should have 5cm mulch around base

Who will maintain the new plants ?

We need to have a plan for maintenance of the new plants in place before planting takes place.

We would like there to be a group, maybe a ‘Friends of QE Circle’, to help maintain the plants.

The plants have to be looked after closely for the first 2 years.   They need to be checked regularly.  They may need watering through dry spells.  Some periodic hedge cutting and tree pruning is likely to be required.