Planting for Football

A football club battered by the wind will be protected for years to come thanks to a tree planting project. Ecologists Nathan Hume and Neil Sumner helped put in saplings in the battle against the elements, with future generations at Intersports Club set to feel the benefit in five years’ time. Money from social groups, sponsored walks and Essex Wildlife Trust have helped pay for the wind-break trees at the club’s home ground at Barleylands. Nathan, 44, said: “It is part of an ongoing series of works and plantings we are doing for the Essex Wildlife Trust.

“We are connecting major habitats around Billericay and this time it has benefited Intersports.”

“It is pretty windswept down there because it is so open at the moment and the kids get really cold playing football.”

“We planted trees there for future generations and when I am long gone the children playing football should feel the benefits of the trees. The boys would absolutely freeze there during matches and the parents used to ask why somebody couldn’t plant some trees.”

A donation from the Billericay Round Table went a long way to help, with the landowners eager to have the work carried out.

Nathan, whose 12-year-old son Jake used to play for Intersports, said: “Neil and I have tried to raise money as well with sponsored walks and talks.

“It is a tree belt more than a hedge and we didn’t want to lumber the sports club with work having to trim a hedge.

“We planted several hundred trees that are native species and they are all going to blend in.

“There have been lots of successful projects and we have planted plenty.

“Everybody down at Intersports gave up their time voluntarily and the head of the club said thank you.”


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