Rare Black Poplar tree planted at Falcon Meadow near Bungay

Mayor of Bungay Mary Matthews planting the rare Black Poplar tree at Falcon Meadow. Photo: Tony Dawe

Mayor of Bungay Mary Matthews planting the rare Black Poplar tree at Falcon Meadow. Photo: Tony Dawes. - Credit: Archant

A rare Black Poplar tree has been planted at a water meadow near Bungay as part of an ongoing initiative to manage and restore the wildlife habitat.

Mayor Mary Matthews planted the tree during a small ceremony at Falcon Meadow on Sunday, November 26.

She dedicated the tree to all those who had rallied to support the 4.2 acre site and said: “Trees provide us with so many things necessary for survival like air, clean water and food.

“They provide us with hope and insight, courage to persevere even in the harshest conditions.

“Trees, and the way they interact within their ecosystem, teach so much while they inspire us to soar to great heights.”

Falcon Meadow is situated on the Suffolk and Norfolk border, between Bungay and Ditchingham.

The land was purchased by Falcon Meadow Community Trust in 2015 when five trustees raised £50,000 in seven weeks.

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Tony Dawes, of the trust, said: “When the community trust purchased Falcon Meadow it was in order to maintain it as a recreational area and to improve its potential as a wildlife habitat – including flora and fauna.

“As part of this we are delighted to be able to plant a rare Black Poplar which in time should provide refuge for insects and nesting sites for owls and roosts for bats.”

The number of Black Poplar trees has been declining since the mid-19th Century and according to the Forestry Commission it is the most endangered native timber tree in Britain. They grow up to 30m tall and can live for 200 years.

Falcon Meadow is a perfect location for the species as it grows best in boggy conditions and along ditches.

Trustee Sally Harrington explained how the tree will impact the local landscape for generations to come.

She said: “The meadow is an important part of community life – it is a great place that’s popular with dog walkers and for family picnics.

“The tree will go on to be a focal point of the meadow; it’s only tiny at the moment but will be huge.”

For more information visit www.falconmeadow.org.uk