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Three generations take part in Burston tree planting initiative

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Three generations of a family with ties to an area of land in Burston joined a tree planting initiative on Sunday to mark its transformation into a recreation ground.

The site was transferred to Burston Parish Council in May 1946 by Sir John Mann, of Thelveton Estate, for use as a playing field.

With the field’s football pitch standing unused for years, an idea was formed to repurpose it into a recreation ground by putting in a peripheral path, planting trees and creating a wildflower meadow.

Pictured right to left: Sir Rupert Mann, his son Alexander Mann, and his grandson Albie Mann.
Pictured right to left: Sir Rupert Mann, his son Alexander Mann, and his grandson Albie Mann.

During the last fortnight, more than 600 trees have been planted by volunteers, with a trio of oaks put in by three generations of the Mann family – Sir Rupert, 75, son Alexander, 43, and grandson Albie, 12 – at the weekend.

Parish councillor Keith Cowley, who spearheaded the project, said: “It was very good to see many volunteers from the local community turn out to plant the trees.

“I am glad that the Mann family, who have historic links to the field, were able to come and plant three oaks, which will be the crowning glory of the woodland when it has matured in the coming years.

“I am looking forward to seeing the trees in leaf next spring, as well as the advent of the wild flowers that will soon be planted.”

Cllr Cowley secured funding for the project from The National Lottery, South Norfolk Council, The Geoffrey Watling Charity and Saffron Housing.

The path was laid last month, with trim trail equipment and several benches following soon after.

The site already had an extensive play area, a BMX track and a public memorial orchard, which has a tree dedicated to each soldier from the parish who died in the First World War.

The new trees form part of the Million Trees for Norfolk project – an aim to plant one million trees across the county over five years – and include hawthorn, field maple and oak.

An avenue of silver birch has been planted along one edge of the field, with a blossom circle – formed of trees that bloom in the spring – added near the entrance.

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