Successful ‘Tree Chichester District’ tree planting scheme to continue

Tree Chichester District Project Officer, Chichester District Council

Tree Chichester District scheme extended thanks to extra funding

Chichester District Council’s ‘Tree Chichester District’ scheme is being extended thanks to a share of an additional £2m of Government funding, which aims to investigate ways to increase tree cover in communities across the country.

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced that it is awarding £2 million to continue its Trees Outside Woodland programme of research, with the aim of testing new ways to boost tree numbers outside of woodland areas and to strengthen biosecurity. This second phase of the programme will be delivered in partnership with The Tree Council, Natural England, as well as five local authorities, including Chichester District Council.

The programme aims to ensure that new and healthy trees continue to be planted in local communities, improving people’s health and wellbeing, and helping to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Councillor Jonathan Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy at Chichester District Council, says: “This additional Government funding is fantastic news for the district. It will enable us to continue our successful Tree Chichester District scheme, which has already seen nearly 25,000 trees planted across the district since its launch in 2021. In total, we’ve been able to support 175 individual tree planting projects to date.

“This success has been achieved through a variety of different projects delivered as part of the Tree Chichester District scheme, including free tree and subsidised tree schemes. These initiatives made free and subsidised trees available to residents, community groups, schools, parish councils, charities, businesses, landowners, and tenant farmers to plant in their local area.

“We have also funded five community orchards in Selsey, Chichester and Fishbourne; 15 planting projects on private land; the enhancement of two community tree nurseries in West Wittering and Selsey; and three mini urban forests, which provide a dense cover of native trees in a smaller area to help boost biodiversity. As part of this, we’ve been delighted to work with, and support, organisations such as Fishbourne Roman Palace, the East Broyle Residents’ Association, the Manhood Wildlife and Heritage Group, and the Selsey Community Forum, to name a few.

“We will receive the new funding in September and are currently planning the schemes and projects that this will enable us to deliver for the benefit of our local communities.

“The additional investment will help to support the council’s work to protect and enhance the local environment. Tree planting is an integral part of our Climate Emergency Action Plan, which sets out a carbon reduction target of 10% year on year until 2025 within the district. You can find out more this at: www.chichester.gov.uk/climatechange.”

“While increasing tree cover is important, we are also encouraging people to protect and nurture existing mature trees that are safe and healthy. Trees are a precious natural asset and, as a natural carbon sink, are a vital part of the fight against climate change.”

People can find more information about the Tree Chichester District scheme by contacting the council’s dedicated Tree Project Officer by emailing: treescheme@chichester.gov.uk.

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