When asked, many Cranbrook residents would agree that one of the most attractive aspects of the town are those areas represented by the country park, the nature reserve and the ecology park, which flow through the urban landscape affording recreation space.
Visually, by retaining many of the ancient hedgerows and veteran trees, particularly along the water features and riverbanks, a green and calm environment is created, supplemented by new planting along the main road arteries, in and around the children’s play parks and other open spaces. Trees play a vital role in the visual landscape, and importantly, in modifying and stabilising the ecology of the countryside, in ways not always obvious to a casual observer. The hedgerows and tree canopy provide a habitat where micro-organisms and insects thrive, supply pollen, blossom and berries, food for a wide variety of resident and migratory birdlife, and allow for nesting sites during the breeding season.
Protection, hibernation and nesting sites for dormice; navigation highways, and roosts for bats; and control and protect precious river and stream courses, which in themselves nurture a variety of habitats for wildlife, from kingfishers to newts. Equally important is the carbon sequestration capability (‘fixing of carbon in natural fabric of the wood as a function of their respiratory system’) as a fundamental factor in allaying the effects of manmade climatic variation on a worldwide scale