IT IS National Tree Week next week and what better time to celebrate successful funding bids for the planting of hundreds of trees across the community!
The bids, from the Forestry Commission’s Local Authority Treescapes Fund and Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF), allow us to restore trees within our streets, parks and open spaces and increase canopy cover within the Borough.
Planting will take place between now and April and begin again for the 24/25 planting season, starting next October. For the coming months grounds maintenance and arborists from NELC and partner organisation Equans will be working alongside community groups and local volunteers to drive forward this planting program, now known as ‘Greening Up Our Place’. Community groups such as East Marsh United and West Marsh Community Centre are keen to participate, as their Wards are in areas with the lowest canopy coverage. They also have their own project, ‘Greening the Marshes’, for which the funds can provide support.
The national average for tree canopy coverage is 15.8 percent, North East Lincolnshire has an estimated canopy coverage of only 10.5 percent. Some wards within North East Lincolnshire have as little as 2 per cent, which is why East Marsh, West Marsh, Sidney Sussex, Immingham, and Croft Baker will be a key focus for planting more trees.
Trees can remove tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, so this will tie in with the Council’s Net Zero Carbon Roadmap and Natural Assets Plan. Increasing our canopy coverage is also a key objective within the Council’s Tree Strategy.
Cllr Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport, said: “Trees are hugely important for several reasons. They reduce flooding by taking in water, create habitats for nature, make us feel better, clean our air by absorbing toxins, and reduce carbon dioxide (CO2). Planting trees can only be a good thing for North East Lincolnshire.
“I am very pleased that we have been successful in securing this bid and look forward to seeing the progress of ‘Greening Up Our Place’ during the next year and a half.”
National Tree Week, which is being held from 25 November to 3 December, is the largest celebration of our wonderful trees, with 2023 being its 50th anniversary year. ‘Grow A Tree in ‘23’ is the theme for this year’s National Tree Week, following on from the original ‘Plant A Tree in ’73’ campaign. The week encourages individuals and groups to consider the impact of trees, and highlights opportunities to grow them in gardens or communities.
Equans will be playing its part in the national event by providing 500 whips – small, bare root, unbranched trees – from the Equans Tree Fund. Staff will be on-site on Wednesday, November 29, at Cromwell Road, Grimsby, to plant the trees. In addition to this, Equans will also donate six heavy standard trees to celebrate and launch the beginning of the wider ‘Greening Up Our Place’ project, at West Marsh Community Centre on the same day. With the support of grounds maintenance and Equans, these trees will be planted by the community with the help of local school children.
It is easy to get involved in National Tree Week:
- Planting trees or plants in a garden or window box ensures participants become part of a global movement to restore nature, support wildlife, and improve the air we breathe. The Royal Horticultural Society has plenty of information and advice on how to select the right trees and plants.
- Allotments are great if you don’t have the garden space you need. Find out more about available lots and how to get started on the Council website. https://www.nelincs.gov.uk/allotments/
- Garden centres are always happy to help and will give you the opportunity to have a look around and find something that’s right for you.
- Contact a community group, such as East Marsh United, Grimsby in Bloom, or West Marsh Forward. Most you will find on Facebook.
- Visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/trees to keep an eye on events linked to North East Lincolnshire’s Tree Strategy.