On Saturday March 12th, members of Middlesbrough’s two remaining Rotary clubs were joined by a group of ‘Boro Community Champions’ At Hills Nursery on Station Road outside Stokesley. The team were shown by nursery owner David Hill how to manufacture reusable ‘Air Pots’ using two sheets of plastic which were then used to plant up one hundred young trees.

Loaded onto a trailer the saplings, all native species from 2 to 4 metres tall were then transported to their ‘line’, essentially a double row of wires to which they are tied. A stout bamboo cane is used to stiffen and support the trunk and the trees will spend a season gathering strength and girth for their many decades of future growth alongside the river Tees.

This is the second planting carried out by local Rotarians for the purpose of celebrating a ‘Century of Giving’ by members of Rotary to their home community. Middlesbrough’s original Rotary club has now ceased to operate having completed its century last November with a formal dinner. The towns two successor clubs, Cleveland and Erimus hope that planting a memorial line of trees stretching upriver from behind Teesaurus Park will form a fitting and growing tribute to the continuing efforts of Rotary in their community whilst not forgetting those who have served earlier.

Last month over fifty saplings were taken after a summer holiday in Stokesley and are now spreading their roots alongside the river which is now their permanent home accompanied by over 5,000 daffodils and mixed bulbs also planted there with the assistance of local schoolchildren last autumn. Rotarians green fingered efforts have been supported by Mayor Andy Preston and a team of Council workers led by Peter Chapman who were on hand to assist with expertise, energy and support stakes.

By 2023 there should be a line of ‘Centenary’ trees almost one mile long to advertise the fact that no less than Three National Trails run alongside the river at this point and provide a ‘green travel route into the heart of both Middlesbrough and Stockton. All this beside a section of riverbank which was once home to dozens of blast furnaces and busy river traffic. Members of local Rotary hope their efforts will chime with the public and display the way in which our past can link to a greener future .

President of Erimus Alan Clifton spoke for the clubs saying, “We aim to celebrate our past and confirm our commitment to the future with this initiative for the people of our town”.

Assistant Governor for Teesside’s cluster of clubs Mike Overy added his voice of support “For many years Rotary has offered its motto of ‘Service above Self’ in many ways across the community and this is our latest environmental contribution “.

Originator of the tree planting scheme Erimus Rotarian Geoff Taylor thanked Boro Community Champions who had earlier also supported the planting of an additional 420 whips in the same area. Geoff said “We are always happy to work with like-minded groups in the town and their assistance has been really valuable, working together to support our town and its environment is a win win for us all”.

Pictures show 1) A ‘Pot making lesson!’

Pot manufacture by Young Community Champions

Trees being set on a line

Rotary is a Worldwide organisation which is also local to Teesside. Middlesbrough Erimus Rotary is active in the support of the community through Education,Environmental,Health and Welfare projects both at Home and Internationally-Learn more at www.erimusrotary.org





Community Champions


Setting trees


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