'Green umbrella' sheltering the county

The Bucks Tree Mission is literally turning over a new leaf as more and more planting continues county-wide.

Buckinghamshire Council aims to plant half a million new trees – one for every resident – as part of its efforts to combat climate change and boost the county’s natural landscape.

National Tree Week runs until 3 December and marks the start of the next tree planting season, which finishes at the end of March.

In the past 12 months, the council has created new woodlands at Wing Woods, near Leighton Buzzard, and at Grange Farm and Bury Farm in the south of the county.

The site at Wing Woods, managed by Forestry England, includes 109,000 new trees, with a further 23,000 being added in coming months.

Species planted include native trees such as common beech, common oak, silver birch and black poplar.

It has also secured more than £264,000 from the Forestry Commission’s Local Authorities Treescape Fund. This aims to restore tree cover in non-woodland areas affected by disease, habitat loss or ageing tree stock. The council will link up with Earthwatch and ReLeaf Marlow on these projects.

There will also be a further 5,000 new trees planted across Bucks this season through various community projects, including some new, so-called, ‘tiny forests’.

This involves planting up to 600 specially selected, young, native trees in a small, prepared area to encourage faster growth. Tiny forests have already been planted at Princes Risborough and at Bourton Park in Buckingham and the new ones are being started in ‘Opportunity Bucks’ areas in the county.

New tiny Forests will be planted at Hamilton Academy, Brooker Recreation Ground, Totteridge Recreation Ground and Desborough Park in High Wycombe and at Walton Court in Aylesbury.

Gareth Williams (pictured above), the council’s cabinet member for climate change and environment, explained why the council’s tree planting programme was so important.

He said: ‘As we highlighted in our recent Climate Change Progress Report, trees play a pivotal role in our actions to address climate change in Buckinghamshire.

‘Nature-based solutions, such as tree planting, help improve biodiversity by creating more space for nature to grow and thrive while also helping to improve air quality – and they are the best way to sustainably sequester carbon for the long term.

‘We are committed to a long-term programme of tree planting across the whole county.’

Find out more about the what the council is doing to address the climate challenge by visiting: https://www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/campaign/bucks-climate-challenge/

For more information on National Tree Week, visit: treecouncil.org.uk