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Day in the Life of Environmental Sustainability: trees, trees and more trees, or is it?

11:00 am, Saturday, 11th May 2024 - 5 days ago

Environment and community safety

By definition, Environmental Sustainabilityis about maintaining balance and conserving natural resources, but at North East Lincolnshire Council it’s far more.

From applying for grants to getting down and dirty planting trees, there is more to it than meets the eye. This planting season, which runs throughout late February and March, 416 trees will be placed across the borough in places like Weelsby Woods in Grimsby and Pelham Avenue in Immingham.

Before getting to that point, the team have to carry out a number of tasks. Some of the major jobs include planning where the trees will go or engaging with the local community to make them aware of the benefits as well as building up positive relationships.

It’s also an opportunity to get residents involved in the process, which is an important element of the Council’s tree strategy. For Environmental Sustainability Manager Levi Anderson-Jordan, no two days are the same, especially during tree planting season.

“Our job varies from day to day, with tree planting being the nice bit. It’s all hands on deck at the minute, but there is a lot more going on in the background such as getting plans and types of trees approved.

“Our work is also feeding in to help achieve decarbonisation across the borough with the aim of being carbon neutral by 2030. However, it isn’t just us that makes all this happen.

“Every day, we’re working with the Equans Trees and Woodlands officers, Grounds Maintenance, the Community Engagement team and community groups to help drive the project and make sure we can achieve what we set out to do.”

The work doesn’t stop at planning, after receiving funding from the Forestry Commission, they have to start sourcing the trees as well as getting volunteers on board to help get them in the ground.

Once everything is in place, the most enjoyable part can begin, according to Levi. “That’s when we start digging holes and getting trees in the ground. Recently we’ve been at Weelsby Woods in Grimsby planting 60 trees of varying species, all in one day.

“The whole process is made so much easier by the team of people helping too, from other members of the Council and Equans to local volunteers. Community groups will also come to us and suggest a good area to put trees, which we take into consideration at the planning stage.”

“The trees themselves come from all over England and can range anywhere from a cherry blossom to an Alder. By the end of March 2025, we’ll have planted over 800 trees and 3,000 whips, these are smaller trees that have only just started to grow.

“After it’s all in the ground, we have to look at what comes next. That means coming up with a plan to water the trees as well as teaching the communities in the area how to look after them.

“On top of that, we’re also looking across the borough at any trees that may need replacing, or any new opportunities to plant trees”.

“It may seem like we have ages to do all this, but it all happens in such a short time frame and none of it would be possible without everyone pulling together.”

When all the trees are planted and replaced, Levi and the team don’t have time to rest. It’s straight back to the office, filling in grant reporting forms and gearing up ready for the next round of funding as well as keeping on top of the other day-to-day tasks.

If you thought Environmental Sustainability was trees and trees alone, you couldn’t be more wrong. Although they take up a large proportion of day to day life for the time being, there is far more going on behind the scenes before you can even think of getting your spade out.

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