Date issued: 25 November 2019
Around 100 people got involved in planting trees at Spring Lane Park on Saturday, at the launch of Colchester Borough Council’s Colchester Woodland Project.
The project, part of the Better Colchester campaign, will see over 200,000 trees planted across the borough over the next five years – including the planting of a new community woodland which is hoped to begin at the end of 2020.
It’s one of the first green steps the council is taking since all Colchester councillors declared a climate emergency in July.
The Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Cory, and the Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, Cllr David King, planted the first tree at the site. They then joined the volunteers in planting a variety of trees, including hawthorn, field maple, beech, lime, oak, rowan, silver birch and hazel.
Nearly 2,000 trees were planted in total, with people of all ages working together to plant the trees in just over two hours. A selection of tools were available, with a planting demonstration given by Colchester Borough Council staff. Volunteers also received a reusable aluminium water bottles as a thank you for taking part.
Local resident and admin of Eco Colchester, an online environmental forum, Grace Darke, said: “It was a really fun and active way to spend a morning, the kids loved getting involved and we will treasure the memories we made. It felt so good taking part and left us feeling very proud and hopeful that our combined efforts as a community will really help to make a difference in Colchester.”
Cllr King said: “It was fantastic to see so many people, young and old, turn up to help us launch such an important project.
“The atmosphere and sense of community spirit was simply amazing, and this is at the very heart of the project. The Colchester Woodland Project is as much about community and demonstrating the importance of trees as it is about planting new trees and preserving the mature woodlands we already have. We want to continue to build on this voluntary network of passionate people to not only plant but maintain and help our trees flourish for a greener future. I would urge everyone to come along to one of our tree planting events and get involved.”
Cllr Cory added: “A huge thank you to everyone who came along to Spring Lane Park. It’s astounding to see what can be achieved when we work together as a community for such an important cause.
“We hope that more and more residents, businesses and local schools will join us over the coming months, and together we can continue to grow a Better Colchester.”
The names of people who plant a tree as part of the Colchester Woodland Project will appear on an online register, which will go live on the on the council’s website in the next few weeks. This will continue throughout the duration of the project, so that residents can see the part they are playing in helping Colchester become carbon neutral by 2030.
Details of all future planting events can be found at www.colchester.gov.uk/colchesterwoodlandproject.