More than 100 trees planted at Sunderland's Backhouse Park as improvement works continue

More than 100 trees have been planted at Backhouse Park as improvement works gather pace.

Volunteers from ICOS (International Community Organisation of Sunderland) and East Rangers planted 105 saplings at the top of the park, near the pitches, of Silver Birch, Wild Cherry, English Oak and Grey Willow.

Daniel Krzyszczak, from ICOS, said: “Last year, Backhouse Park lost a lot of trees in the storms. Also, some trees weren’t healthy anymore and needed to be removed. So, with the permission of the council, we planted saplings to replace them.

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"We had a really good turnout from the volunteers and managed to get them all planted in one go.”

Daniel Krzyszczak, a member of the East Rangers with volunteers who have planted trees in Backhouse Park. Picture by FRANK REID'

Other improvement works carried out by the rangers include information panels, regular litter picking, an annual photography competition and the creation of a fairy trail at the park.

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Future plans include an interactive game in the park and fundraising to install children’s gym equipment.

This year marked the park’s centenary as it was in 1922 that Thomas William Backhouse gifted the park, formerly Ashburne Park, to the Corporation of Sunderland, which named it Backhouse Park in his honour.

East Rangers Members Reema Reddiar and Yassine Amrani plant a tree sapling at Backhouse Park, Sunderland.

Hugely influential on Wearside, the Backhouses were Quaker bankers who had the house and gardens built for them. They left a rich legacy in the city and it was philanthropist Edward Backhouse who became one of the founding fathers of the Sunderland Echo in 1873.

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Unlike other parks in the city, Backhouse Park, which has entrance gates in Ashbrooke and Ryhope Road, is a little less manicured as it encourages wildflower growth for insects and other wildlife.

This year marks 100 years since Backhouse Park was gifted to the Corporation of Sunderland by the Backhouse family