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  1. Published on: 08/02/2020 09:17 AMReported by: roving-eye
    Thirteen projects in urban communities across England have been awarded a share of the £10m in the first round of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund.



    Across the country over 22,000 large trees and 28,000 small trees will be planted in urban areas, from Thanet to Middlesbrough, and Merseyside to Bristol. These will help areas improve health and wellbeing, as well as playing a crucial role in the fight against climate change, supporting the UK’s journey to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

    The Government is committed to plant 30,000 hectares of trees a year across the UK by 2025, and the fund is helping increase canopy cover in and around our towns and cities where they bring a wide range of benefits.

    Launched in May 2019, the £10 million scheme will see 130,000 trees planted across England’s towns and cities by 2021.

    Environment Secretary Theresa Villiers said:
    Trees are vital in the fight against climate change, to tackle air pollution and help us achieve our net-zero target by 2050. But for local communities they are so much more. They allow green spaces to come together, help both physical and mental wellbeing, and connect children and young people with nature.

    Our manifesto sets our ambition to have every new street lined with trees, and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund complements this ambition, benefiting thousands of people for years to come.

    Sir Harry Studholme, Chair of the Forestry Commission, said:
    It is such great news that the first year of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund has been so successful and able to reach so many places.

    The fund focuses on areas of high deprivation and low tree canopy cover where every tree planted has the change to provide the greatest impact.

    Not only do trees in urban areas help to improve wellbeing but they also offer benefits in many other ways like helping tackle climate change and mitigating flood risks. I look forward to seeing the second year of the fund re-opening for smaller scale planting later this year.

    Successful projects in the first round include:

    The Trees for Cities project which will receive support for over 9,000 trees to be distributed across the country.
    Over 8,000 trees will be planted by Slough Borough Council, almost 7,000 large trees will go to London Street Trees and 6,000 trees to The Mersey Forest.
    Examples of what these projects are looking to achieve include:

    The Urban Trees in The Mersey Forest project focuses on recreation and health - improving the quality of access routes, encouraging active travel and recreation, and improving wellbeing and mental health through increased physical activity and greener neighbourhoods.
    Funding for Slough Borough Council’s ‘TEC’ Urban Forest project will support the Council’s wider plans to tackle air pollution, reduce particulate matter levels and increase flood protection. Trees will be planted in urban areas that directly benefit local air quality and protect the town from floods.
    Commenting on his successful bid, Luke Evans, Chair of Thanet Community Forest School CIO, said:
    Thanet has one of the lowest tree canopies - 4.4 per cent - in the country and one of the highest levels of deprivation so I have always seen the planting of trees in the area a priority of mine. The response from our community in Thanet has been incredible and has shown it is an important issue for everybody.

    Thanks to the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, the Isle of Thanet Trees and Woods Initiative is going to be the catalyst for positive change in Thanet for future generations, increasing biodiversity, increasing tree canopy coverage and providing all the health benefits that trees provide.

    The Urban Tree Challenge Fund is made up of two parts. In year one, the fund was open for block bids from local authorities or larger organisations, and bidding closed on 31 August 2019. In year two, the fund will reopen for applications from individual tree planters, commencing in spring 2020.

    Ahead of this, applicants can currently submit an Expression of Interest to the Forestry Commission to state their interest and receive the latest up-to-date information on the fund before the opening of the year two application window.

    The grants are administered by the Forestry Commission, and successful applicants are match-funding the money they receive.

    Grants will fund the planting of trees and the first three years of their care to ensure they can flourish into the future.

    Since 2010 government has planted over 15 million trees, and we have a clear commitment through our 25 Year Environment Plan to increase woodland cover further. Our recently introduced Environment Bill gives communities a greater say in the management of street trees.

    The successful applicants were:

    Middlesbrough 10,000 trees
    Tree-ing Urban Northumberland
    Slough Borough Council - TEC Urban Forest
    London Street Trees
    Thanet Community Forest School CIO
    Space for Trees (Durham)
    Urban Trees in The Mersey Forest
    Green Street Community Planting (Bristol and North Somerset)
    Trees for Cities (London and across England)
    City of Trees (Greater Manchester)
    Luton Borough Council
    Plymouth City Council
    Cornwall Council

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    Your Comments:


  3. Starling says:08/02/2020 10:24 AM
    And yet Sefton Council felled 642 trees in 3 years (2017-2019).

  4. Likes donkey22, Darkside liked this post
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  5. paulollie says:08/02/2020 01:27 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Starling View Post
    And yet Sefton Council felled 642 trees in 3 years (2017-2019).
    They, might have been disease, or dying??

  6. Likes cotton man liked this post
  7. said says:08/02/2020 02:26 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by paulollie View Post
    They, might have been disease, or dying??
    No! That is what you were led to believe. The trees on Lord Street were healthy apart from one that had not had any new shoots on it. The trees where new building projects had been allowed, were all very healthy and established trees. It would help if everyone with even small plots of garden space - planted at least one tree.

  8. Likes donkey22, Darkside liked this post
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  9. marky says:08/02/2020 04:08 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by said View Post
    It would help if everyone with even small plots of garden space - planted at least one tree.
    Says someone who has absolutely no interest in the consequences of such a stupid suggestion.

    We had a neighbour who thought like you. She had a sycamore growing in a front garden which is 20 feet long and 12 feet wide. The tree was over 50 feet tall and the canopy was over 40 feet in diameter. It over hung her roof, our roof and spread over three front gardens - meaning three houses got no direct sunlight during the day in their living rooms. Sap stuck to everything in spring & summer, leaves and seeds covered gardens and footpaths all along the street - spreading more sycamore growth all around the area. Our front garden was completely barren as the tree sucked all the moisture out of the ground. As it's roots spead, they shattered the soakaway pipes under the front garden, meaning a downpour would flood into the front of the house because it had nowhere to drain away (still unresolved to this day). This lasted for over 25 years we'd lived in the house and she flatly refused to do anything about it. She gave up looking after her property, so seeds from the tree became established in the back garden, and there were three which grew over 20 feet tall in a space no bigger than the footprint of a large car. We were then faced with no direct sunlight in the back of our houses too.

    She died, and the new owners cut the trees down within a fortnight - for which the residents were highly delighted. Those of us who were affected (afflicted...) are still in awe of the sun shining through their living room windows and these new things called grass and plants which now thrive in our re-hydrated gardens. Gutters and downpipes are no longer blocked with leaves & seeds and we no longer have rafts of sycamores growing out of our borders each year.

    Be very careful with your suggestions - that way lies a potential nightmare of litigation over property damage.

  10. Likes cotton man liked this post
    Dislikes donkey22 disliked this post
  11. paulollie says:08/02/2020 04:09 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by said View Post
    No! That is what you were led to believe. The trees on Lord Street were healthy apart from one that had not had any new shoots on it. The trees where new building projects had been allowed, were all very healthy and established trees. It would help if everyone with even small plots of garden space - planted at least one tree.
    Fine, it was a comment only, not my knowledge of fact that's all.

  12. Darkside says:08/02/2020 04:42 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by said View Post
    It would help if everyone with even small plots of garden space - planted at least one tree.
    I'm afraid that since moving into our house we've actually felled 6 trees and replaced none of them. That said, they were bloody Leylandii and I am not in any way sorry for removing the damned things. There are another 3 whose days are numbered too.

    In the fullness of time I'll replace them with slow growing native species like Oak, Silver Birch, Apple & Pear.

  13. Likes donkey22 liked this post
  14. Alikado says:09/02/2020 10:59 AM
    Many trees are planted without thought to the long term consequences, there should be rules as to what can be planted and where. It's not just Joe Public but also Councils and Government Depts who plant trees that are unsuitable for the locations, some trees along Lord St & SNR had clearly go out of hand, a 50 year old Horse Chestnut may look magnificent in a park but is a hazard on the street. Garden Centres and Nurseries should do more to help people avoid buying unsuitable trees, how many buy from the picture on the front and don't look at the small print on the back of the label.
    I picked up a small seedling in Scotland some 12 - 15 years ago which was planted at the end of the garden, it is now turning into a magnificent tree some 25 -30 tall, I would be concerned if I had the property at the end of the garden.
    Home Insurance companies usually ask about any trees over 10 or 15m high within the same sort of distance of the house for obvious reasons.


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