Departing ‘D-Team’ praised by Tree Trust

Signing off … changes at the top of the Cambridge Tree Trust have seen Don Willoughby (left) and David Phillipps step down as they reach a significant birthday.

As he looks to mark his 80th birthday in 2019, local stalwart Don Willoughby has stepped down from his role as chairman of the Cambridge Tree Trust.

Echoing his move is the club’s deputy chairman David Phillipps, who has already attained the age of 80.

Both men stepped aside at the Tree Trust’s AGM held last month, where they were officially signed off as “an incredibly supportive D-team” and hailed for having helped steer 24 different projects around Cambridge.

Those attending the meeting heard how under their combined leadership, membership of the Tree Trust had doubled, with between 20 and 30 people now planting, potting and weeding around Cambridge every Tuesday and Thursday.

Tree Trust volunteer Susan Boubée said both Don and David were “enthusiastic about suggestions from members for various plantings in the community – ranging from bluebells in Anne’s Patch to daffodils along Payne Park and trees in the Maple Arboretum”.

“On these days you will find Don and David somewhere around town organising the members, making sure they have the plants and equipment needed for the day’s work, as well as participating themselves,” she said.

Members also heard how ‘the D-team’ had built relationships through attending numerous community meetings over the years, always listening to what the community wanted in terms of trees and plantings.  On Sundays, they were often seen delivering gear and trees, then inspiring and working alongside local school students and community groups – most notably at Lake Te Ko Utu and along the Meadow Walk.

Susan said both Don and David have on occasions made presentations to the Waipa District Council and community groups, seeking suggestions around what types of trees, shrubs and flaxes might be best suited to specific locations, and “using the knowledge, experience and hard work of various Tree Trust members”.

David was also praised for the many hours he has put into the Cambridge Tree Trust website ( He was responsible for having taken many hours of video footage, editing it and then adding music to accompany the plantings.

Both men have said they will continue to support the club in 2019.

Replacing Don as chairman is Eric Todd.


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