Marking National Tree Week
Our Climate Czar marked National Tree Week by visiting two key planting sites in Essex. The event is the UK’s largest annual celebration of trees and includes tree planting events, workshops and environmental education sessions.
Partners across Essex have committed to planting one million trees by 2025/26. As part of this, Essex County Council’s Essex Forest Initiative will plant 78,000 this year. To mark National Tree Week, Cllr Peter Schwier, Essex County Council’s Climate Czar, attended an Essex Forest Initiative tree planting session in Ramsey. It saw 14,000 new trees planted on ECC owned farmland.
With the farmland being on a seasonal flood plain, the Essex Forest Initiative is creating seven hectares of wet woodland alongside the river. The tree planting will increase biodiversity in the area, absorb carbon from the atmosphere and water from the flood plain. This will help us meet our target of reaching net-zero by 2050 and simultaneously reduce the flood risk in the area.
Elsewhere in the county, Cressing Temple Barns also saw a tree planting event run as part of the Essex Forest Initiative, to mark the start of National Tree Week on Saturday 27th November.
Cllr Schwier also paid a visit to a forest-to-be at Hole Farm, Brentwood, in the south west of the county. Currently farmland, National Highways has purchased the land for it to be home to up to 200,000 trees in the near future. National Highways is also planning to create a new 100-hectare community woodland in partnership with the Forestry Commission, as part of the Lower Thames Crossing project. They will be speaking to the local community throughout the next year to get their feedback on the design and what facilities could be included in the woodland.
Cllr Schwier said “To visit this site and witness the sheer scale of this upcoming planting project is a pleasure. I’m delighted to see that Hole Farm will deliver hundreds of thousands of trees in Essex, acting as another large Green Infrastructure jigsaw piece in place.”
National Tree Week runs until 5 December.