Green ideas: use bicycle inner tubes when planting new trees
Hessian ribbon degraded too well and needed replacing every few months

At Hestercombe we're really keen to be as green and ecologically minded as possible, and are always looking for more ways to improve. So here’s the latest idea from the Gardens team!

For many years in the gardens, when a tree needs planting, we've used a plastic tree tie. They're brilliant and easy to use - they have a buckle and it makes the whole process really quick. But with a commitment to Hestercombe's green agenda, we're really keen not to use any plastic in the garden going forwards.

So we put our Plan B into action, and started to use hessian ribbon. It was good, it did the job, and had a nice rustic feel to it.

But...it degraded too well and needed replacing every few months in some areas.

Green ideas: use bicycle inner tubes when planting new trees
Stretchy and robust, inner tubes, cut into strips, seem to make the perfect tree tie!

So now we're trying Plan C. Over Christmas my husband had a puncture in his bike and changed the inner tube. I kept thinking ‘how do we recycle that?’. Then I had a eureka moment - I realised that the inner tube, cut into strips, would make the perfect tree tie! Both stretchy enough and robust enough. So we're currently trialling it.

Since this lightbulb moment I've heard from other gardeners and keen cyclists and discovered that I am not the first to do this and others have been doing it for years!

On Yer Bike

I have now formed a link with On Yer Bike, who are based by the train station in Taunton, so that I have a good supply of old inner tubes without having to puncture my husband's! On Yer Bike is a brilliant charity that began in Somerset in 2010, its aim being to train up people suffering from social exclusion, ex-servicemen, and the long-term unemployed and give them the skills to service, repair and refurb unwanted bikes which can then be sold on. Recycling cycles...how fantastic.

If you have an old bike, do get in touch with them and see if you can donate it - and if you are looking to buy a new bike, it's worth seeing what they have. I think this is particularly brilliant if you have growing children as you can donate the bike they have grown out of and buy the next size up. On Yer Bike will also service your bike for you and help you to keep it up to scratch so that you are safer on the roads.

So by donating your bikes, you'll not only be helping some lovely people, but you may find your inner tubes being used to help Hestercombe's new trees grow!

For more information about On Yer Bike, see their website.

Please help us keep Hestercombe open

Over the last 30 years Hestercombe’s historic landscape and its unique, world famous gardens have been lovingly restored.

However, Hestercombe’s closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Hestercombe Gardens Trust’s finances. We’re an independent charity without the safety net of larger organisations, and we must now raise substantial funds to ensure Hestercombe continues to thrive and to help secure its magnificent heritage for future generations.

We would be incredibly grateful for any donation that you are able to give. Thank you.

Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer and you select ‘Please Gift Aid this donation’, the UK Government will give Hestercombe Gardens Trust an additional contribution of 25% at no extra cost to you.

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Green ideas bicycle tyres inner tubes planting trees hestercombe IMG 5356

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