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M20, Junction 10A, Kent Vigilis Tree Shelters

The Challenge

The Challenge

On the outskirts of Ashford in Kent, planning consent was granted for a major road junction construction. This stretch of road is on the main route to and from Europe via the Eurotunnel. Therefore, it requires the speedy establishment of a tree/shrub buffer to act both as a visual screen and acoustic barrier.

Particular challenges on the site were exposure, with planting areas vulnerable to prevailing winds coming off the flat lands of Romney Marsh, and poor-quality recovered soil used on the banking under relatively shallow topsoil.

In addition, neighbouring woodland/farmland harbours rabbits and possibly small deer, which could browse the young trees, so with all of these factors possibly compromising the speed of establishment of the planting belt, careful choice of plant protection was required.

The Solution

The Solution

Tilhill Forestry Ltd elected to use Vigilis 60cm tree shelters to individually protect the young seedlings from possible browsing by rabbits and accidental herbicide spray drift. With the speed of establishment being such a key factor, it was crucial for us to keep weed growth to a minimum, allowing the tree seedlings to secure sufficient water and nutrients to sustain growth.

The reason Vigilis 60cm tree shelters were preferred over competitor products was because the manufacturer installed two sets of releasable ties on each guard, which made them more secure against the wind threat when compared to tree shelters with a single tie, as produced by other suppliers.

Combined with locally sourced Chestnut stakes, which are generally thicker than the more common softwood alternatives and therefore better suited to shallower topsoils, trees on the site are now fully protected and expected to create the required natural screen within a few short years.

By using thicker Chestnut stakes and Vigilis tree shelters with two releasable ties, it is anticipated that maintenance costs on this site will be considerably lower than if less ‘secure’ tree shelters had been used, or if no tree shelters had been employed at all. Walking the site and re-staking/re-positioning trees that have blown over is an expensive business, which Tilhill Forestry Ltd have minimised by their choice of tree shelter supplier.


Junction 10A M20, Kent

Project:  25,000 60cm Vigilis tree shelters to protect trees and shrubs on a new motorway junction

Product: Vigilis Tree Shelters

Location: Near Ashford, Kent

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