Tree planting begins as part of the Local Authority Treescape Fund
PUBLISHED: 20 December 2021
The planting of trees in parklands and urban areas and along riverbanks, roads, and footpaths has started in Colchester, thanks to the Local Authority Treescape Fund, awarded by the Forestry Commission to support tree planting outside of woodlands.
Eighty standard trees have been planted along the cycle path that runs through the Riverside Walk open space between Lower Castle Park and the East Bay Recreation Ground, with a further 40 trees planted along the cycle path which runs through the Bergholt Road open space between the allotment site and North Station car park. The trees are a mix of native broadleaf species, such as field maple, hawthorn, wild cherry, rowan, wild service tree and lime, and are being planted as part of the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project.
The Local Authority Treescape Fund – grant funding from the Forestry Commission – supports tree planting outside of woodlands. Essex County Council (ECC), in partnership with Colchester Borough Council, Epping Forest District Council and Harlow Council, successfully applied and secured £300,000 for the planting and maintenance of 5,595 trees across Essex. The planting is part of ECC’s Essex Forestry Initiative, and the trees will be planted in various settings, such as riversides, urban areas, infilling of old hedgerows and to create wood pasture across the county. Planting trees in urban settings supports wildlife and habitat connectivity, but it is also important to plant trees close to where people live, for health and wellbeing benefits. ECC expects all trees under the fund to be planted by April 2022.
The fund targets areas with trees that have been neglected or suffered damage in the past, including disused and vacant community spaces and those affected by tree diseases.
There are further plans to plant trees across the borough through this funding, over the coming months.
Cllr Simon Crow, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Sustainability, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to continue work both under the Colchester Woodland and Biodiversity Project, and across the Council, to offset carbon emissions that are contributing to ongoing climate change. There are many benefits to planting in areas outside of woodlands, and we are delighted to be able to make the most of the opportunity the fund provides.”