From left, volunteer Mike Walker, John Goodenough, of Care in the Garden, Sandown Rotary Club president, Gerry White, Friends of Roman Villa head gardener, John Hardy.
A TEAM has been busy digging for Isle of Wight environmental victory near Brading Roman Villa.
Sponsored by Sandown Rotary Club and the Friends of Brading Roman Villa, 250 cobnut trees are being planted as part of the Roman Landscape Project.
Sandown Rotary Club gave the Friends £5,000 for the project.
The garden team included volunteers from the friends and members of the villa staff, who turned out in all weathers to give their time and expertise to survey, mark out the plantation, dig holes and plant the trees.
Care in the Garden, the Island organisation involved in training and employing disabled people in different aspects of gardening, has also been involved in digging holes and planting trees.
The first tree was planted by Sandown Rotary president, Gerry White.
With 250 holes being dug, it was an opportune time for an archaeological evaluation of the plantation field, which confirmed no Roman remains would be disturbed by the shallow-rooted trees.
The plantation will become part of the red squirrel pathway across the Island, cobs will be harvested and sold in the villa shop and it will link with the villa’s popular wild meadow — an educational space used by schools and visiting children.
The plantation is in the field to the north of the villa, linking to the boundary hedge at one end and the wild meadow at the other, with the Adgestone Road to the north, and the replica Roman garden to the south.
A number of Island charities and volunteers involved in areas such as education and red squirrel conservation will be involved in the plantation project.
Organisers hope schools will be involved with the landscape project, with trees and services being bought, wherever possible, from Island suppliers.