2022 marks the inaugural Platinum Jubilee for Queen Elizabeth the second and to mark this momentous occasion we at the CRT and our dedicated volunteers at Bere Marsh Farm will be planting 10 May Trees as part of the Queen's Green Canopy campaign.

May trees, also known as Common Hawthorn bush (Crataegus monogyna), is a beautiful and iconic plant found across the UK which can support more than 300 insects, as well as many other species of wildlife.

Though Bere Marsh Farm is a beautiful oasis nestled in the Dorset countryside, it is missing something... it's lacking flowering plants and the abundance of species they attract.

  • May tree flowers are eaten by dormice, whilst also providing nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects.
  • May trees are common foodplant for caterpillars of moths, including small eggar, light emerald and pear leaf blister.
  • The haws of May trees, which are rich in antioxidents, provide food for migrating birds such as redwings, thrushes and fieldfares.
  • May trees have dense foliage which makes ideal nesting shelter for many bird species.

This is the first of many of our exciting initiatives we have planned to improve the biodiversity on the farm. The flowers are hugely attractive to bees and the berries provide winter food for birds such as Blackbirds and Fieldfares (a UK red conservation status species).

May is the perfect occasion for this special planting, not only does it a marker of the first day of summer but May trees (hawthorns) have an ancient associations with this month. The leaves and flowers were used as the source of May Day garlands as well as appearing in the wreath of the Green Man.

We estimate that this initiative will cost £1,200 to complete, with each tree costing just £100 to purchase, plant and care for, but the part that they will play in the ecosystem of Bere Marsh Farm will be priceless. 

Please help us to install these trees and join our countryside revolution.

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We have seen first hand the influence that hawthorn can have on the environment at our site Lark Rise Farm in Cambridgeshire, see for yourself below:

This is what we are aspiring to achieve at Bere Marsh Farm, please help us achieve this goal.