Tree planting projects begin across Chichester as 8,000 tress were distributed to free tree initiative applicants

Pupils at Bishop Luffa School planting trees for the free tree planting projects

Chichester District Council’s free tree initiative scheme

A total of 8,020 trees were distributed to residents, community groups, schools, landowners, and businesses across the district to begin their tree planting projects thanks to Chichester District Council’s free tree initiative.

The council’s Tree Chichester District scheme is funded by HM Treasury’s Shared Outcomes Fund and aims to test different ways to increase tree cover in rural and urban areas. As part of this scheme people were invited to apply for free trees last summer and the council received more than 100 applications.

The majority of those who successfully applied to the scheme collected their trees from Cattle Market car park in Chichester in December 2021 and the remaining trees were delivered by the team at English Woodlands. Now that all the trees have been delivered, residents, schools and businesses have been getting involved in planting projects across the district.

Tree planting projects in locations across Chichester

In Selsey, the tree planting project saw 120 trees planted at Selsey Children’s Nursery, extending the existing wildlife corridor from the adjacent Manor Park.

Tony Cullen from the nursery says: “We know how important trees are to our lives and the environment. For the children’s nursery, we wanted the trees to act as a natural screen from the sun and wind and to attract wildlife such as birds and insects. This will enhance the children’s understanding of their surroundings and we’ve seen how they react positively to being outside in nature.”

In Southbourne, the tree planting project saw 20 trees planted by volunteers in the hedgerows bordering Tuppenny Barn.

Head gardener Helen Wright says: “I am delighted that we are able to contribute to the support of wildlife in the haven that is Tuppenny Barn. The saplings will improve the diversity of tree species as well as increasing biodiversity and wildlife connectivity.

“This is especially important as hedgerows provide food and shelter for many species as well as forming essential corridors through which wildlife can travel.”

Students and staff at Bishop Luffa School in Chichester have planted 20 trees on their school grounds as part of the tree planting project to provide a natural barrier between the two school fields. This project is part of the school’s quest to become an Eco School in the near future.

Cllr Penny Plant, Chichester District Council Cabinet Member for the Environment and Contract Services, said: “Thousands of trees have already been planted, which is a fantastic achievement in such a short space of time, and I would like to thank everyone. It will take time, but once the trees grow and take shape, they will become a lasting feature in our district for generations to come.

“Work is also underway to plant three mini urban forests — one in Selsey, one in Chichester, and one in Midhurst. A community orchard is also set to be planted along a footpath in Goodwood, and in the north of the district, two farms in Northchapel and Kirdford are undertaking tree planting on their land.”

Coffee pod recycling partner provided funding to plant trees

Elsewhere in the district, the council’s coffee pod recycling partner, Podback, has been working with the council and SUGi, an organisation that helps to create accessible ‘pocket forests’, to coordinate tree planting in Chichester. A ‘pocket forest’ is a special method of planting native trees in a small urban area that establish quickly and require little maintenance.

Podback provided funding to Eunomia to the tree planting projects, which will be maintained by the council. Around 11 different species of trees have been planted on the Summersdale Copse site, which was chosen as trees will have space to grow and can be enjoyed by residents. Coffee grounds generated through Podback’s recycling process were used to support tree planting.

Rick Hindley, Podback’s Executive Director said: “Podback is a pioneering example of end-to-end recycling, with coffee brands, retailers and local authorities working together to enable people to easily recycle their pods, and Chichester District Council is one of our ground-breaking partners.”

Chichester District Council’s climate change plans

Chichester District Council’s commitment to increasing tree cover in the district is just part of its work to help protect and enhance the local environment. In 2020, the council produced a Climate Emergency Action Plan, which sets out a carbon reduction target of 10% year-on-year until 2025 for the Chichester District.

Cllr Penny Plant adds: “A huge amount of work has already been done and we’re working closely with West Sussex County Council and other district and borough councils to engage with residents, businesses and organisations about the ways in which we can all play our part in the fight against climate change.

“As part of this, we have recently launched a behavioural change campaign to let residents know about the various energy efficiency measures that they can make to their own homes to save money and reduce their carbon footprint”

People can find more information about the council’s Tree Chichester District scheme, by visiting www.chichester.gov.uk/treescheme, and by emailing Chichester District’s Tree Project Officer at [email protected] or find out more about the councils’ climate change work at: www.chichester.gov.uk/climatechange.

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