In June, visitors gathered at Hazeland for ‘Hazefest’ to celebrate the end of tree planting on the site. We had a wonderful day, with site tours looking at the biodiversity and history of the canal, children’s activities, and talented guitarists joining us for a picnic lunch. It was a lovely atmosphere so thank you to all who came along to celebrate with us.

Hazeland was ANT’s first ever land purchase, so it is a hugely significant moment to mark the end of planting here after three years. The site runs along the River Marden between Chippenham and Calne and features riverside meadow, ancient woodland, an abandoned canal now reclaimed by nature, and open pasture recently planted with new woodland.

Tara Castle, Hazeland’s Project Co-ordinator, reflects “What a journey it has been through the challenges of covid and two really dry springs and hot summers. We’ve had hundreds of volunteers involved and it has been hard work at times, but it has always felt really enjoyable and worthwhile.”

We would like to give a special thank you to everyone who has joined us on site over the past three years for our volunteer days and events, as well as to all our amazing funders who made this project possible, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

While tree planting at the site may be over, we will still be caring for these trees long into the future to ensure they mature into a flourishing permanent woodland, so please do join us for tree care and conservation days when these are announced. We are also continuing to host a range of events on site, keeping Hazeland as a space for the local community to enjoy, learn about, and connect with nature. You can sign up for these on our Events page.

Photo credit: Tara Castle