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My apologies for not publishing the full minutes of this year's AGM. Suffice to say that the substance of the meeting is reported on below. The object now is to update you on subsequent happenings and potential future events.

A sub-committee was set up to keep tabs on progress and I am delighted to report that, present at its last meeting on the 3rd September were four volunteers potentially ready and very able to take on the Tree Group when the present officers bow out. We are very hopeful that under the strong guidance of these four and three others already in vital roles the group will continue to prosper.

As a consequence, positive plans are already in place for this year and following years starting with dates for the tree sales this year, dates for weeding, dates for assessment of stock and stock labelling and dates for the purchase and planting of new stock for the future.

It is hoped that the new officers will be ratified in their positions at least in the AGM next year if not before. This is at present scheduled to take place in April 2020 although this date may be brought forward..Dates are published elsewhere on this site but for the sake of clarity I shall repeat here that the Tree Sale commences on the 23rd Nov 2019 and finishes on the 15th Feb 2020.

For appointments please contact Bob on 01242 516469 or at

AGM 19/3/2019

Full minutes of this meeting will be published shortly. However prior to this there are some things to be brought to the attention of members . Unfortunately very few members were able to attend the AGM, around 15 sent apologies but the total number at the meeting (including officers) was 7. We are most grateful to those who came as it had been decided to make an important announcement regarding the long term future of the group.

The group is in a very healthy state at present and also the state of health of those running it is good. However within the next 3 years those of us who have not achieved 80 already will have done so, and with a group growing trees thinking ahead is important. The pattern at present is that every year around 150 whips are purchased which are then grown on and sold around 3 years later, all the proceeds going to worthwhile tree charities which by the founding rules should be sent abroad for the most part.

We do not wish to be in the situation where, because of health and age problems, we waste upwards of £200 because of unsold trees and also leave our plot in an unsatisfactory state. We find it a major problem even getting active serving officers, being at present without a tree officer and a publicity officer. We have enough help on special planting days and also a faithful block of labourers for weeding but for organising and general work needs we are now reliant on ourselves and problems are creeping in.

The Chairman, the Site Officer and the Treasurer have therefore decided that they will leave post in 2022. We have just purchased and planted our last definite set of trees and will grow them on in the hope that over the next 3 years we shall be able to sell off our stock profitably OR better than that, some volunteers come through to take over what is a very flourishing society.

We have a sub committee working on the publicity needed to attract officers, and have already sent out detailed notices of intention to some businesses and schools in the area asking them to publicise our case to retirees. Another 15 letters are due to be sent out shortly. We are willing to have a small stall at retirement fairs and as members of the U3A ourselves we have put in as much publicity there as they will allow. We cannot be under their aegis as we like having students among our work force.

We should be delighted to hear directly from anyone interested in this project or part of it. If anyone would like to commence in a position before 2022 of course this could be enabled in some way particularly in either the Tree Officer or Publicity role.

Please pass this news on to anyone you think might be interested.

Urban tree cover

A recent survey has found that most towns and cities in the UK, including Cheltenham and Gloucester, have less than the recommended amount of tree cover. Almost 300 urban areas were measured and the amount of tree cover varied from 3% in Fleetwood, Lancashire to 45% in Farnham, Surrey, with Cheltenham at 12.8% and Gloucester 13.6%.

The research which was performed by Treeconomics and Forest Research used aerial imagery to collect data. Urban tree cover is defined as the area that trees cover when viewed from above, with a minimum of 20% coverage being the recommended amount. Only a fifth of UK towns and cities have this amount of tree cover.  There are many reasons why this matters. Contact with nature is important for our personal wellbeing. Trees create pleasant areas for recreation and relaxation, they improve air quality and are important for wildlife. For more information see Let’s work together to increase our tree cover. 

Planting completed

We’re pleased to confirm that our new nursery has now been planted up with hundreds of young trees. With thanks to everyone who helped on the planting day. The rugby players who moved the shed, the students, Tree Group members and other volunteers who came along to take part, this wouldn’t have been done without you.

For anyone who would like to help with the upkeep of the tree nursery, there are regular monthly weeding and mulching sessions on the second Saturday of each month. Please call Bob on 01242 516469 if you’d like to take part or email

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