Date issued: 26 January 2021
Colchester Borough Council continues to plant trees across Colchester for the second year, as part of the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project, despite having to postpone public planting events due to national lockdown restrictions. This includes supplying many trees for parish and town councils to plant, and replacing trees lost in last year's exceptionally dry spring.
In December, the council provided 1,460 whips to Stanway Parish Council, 180 whips to Wivenhoe Town Council and eight standard trees for West Mersea Town Council. This month 35 whips were supplied to Chappel Parish Council and 224 whips for Langham Parish Council. Further trees will be supplied to parish and town councils once lockdown restrictions are eased.
In addition, Colchester Borough Council staff have also been planting at some of the borough’s famous green spaces, including 2,365 whips for hedging across Castle Park, High Woods Country Park, Cymbeline Meadows and Salary Brook.
The council had to postpone several planned public planting events earlier this month, due to take place through until March, after the latest period of national lockdown was announced. They plan to reschedule planting days in the Autumn, should restrictions allow, and hope that the many volunteers who had registered to join-in will continue to support the project and take part as soon as it safe to do so.
Council staff, along with Together We Grow, will plant the trees being supplied by the Woodland Trust over a number of identified sites in the coming weeks. All the planting days under the project are supported by Together We Grow CIC, a not-for-profit Social Enterprise improving the lives of communities and individuals through encouraging engagement with nature, which is based at the beautiful Big Garden in High Woods Country Park. As well as supplying trees, the Woodland Trust is also providing biodegradable rabbit guards to help protect each tree without the risk of contaminating the environment with plastic debris.
Cllr David King, Portfolio Holder for Businesses and Resources, said: “Trees and woodlands are a vital part of our eco-system. We are committed to preserving them, helping them to flourish and planting more each year.
“We do so sensitive to location and landscape, listening to residents and consulting with experts as we go. We are especially pleased this year to be able to support parish and town councils with greening their areas, by supplying them with trees to plant.
“We know that tree planting overall is widely supported by residents across Colchester. It was great to have had hundreds of residents take part last year with our community planting. We know that many were looking forward to joining us to do so again this year, and whilst it is disappointing not to be able to carry out these events as planned, the safety of our residents and volunteers is of paramount importance to us.
“Tree planting is part of our wider work to safeguard and improve our environment: from mowing less to encourage wildflowers, to woodland and urban tree-planting. We look forward to even more planting when lockdown ends with community support and their tree planting help as before.”
You can keep up to date on the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project at www.colchester.gov.uk/better-colchester/colchesterwoodlandbiodiversity.