A tree planted for EVERY person in Suffolk - how you can get involved
- Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND
A tree will be planted for all 770,000 people in Suffolk under an ambitious new project aiming to create a lasting environmental legacy.
The Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) in Suffolk is hoping to plant more than 770,000 trees, shrubs and hedge plants around the county, and includes commitments to care for existing woodland.
Everyone in Suffolk is being invited to get involved in the scheme, which forms part of the national 'Plant a tree for the Jubilee' celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year.
The county's campaign, which is being coordinated by the Suffolk Lieutenancy, will encourage the planting of healthy native trees that can thrive in their environments.
Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lady Clare, Countess of Euston, said: “We have a very simple plan. To plant or pledge a tree for every resident in the county.”
Diana Hunt, deputy lieutenant who chairs the QGC for Suffolk, highlighted "the profound effect tree planting has on our lives through biodiversity, climate change, social cohesion, health and wellbeing".
She added: "Charities and support groups across the county have been preparing for a concerted drive to plant trees over the next three years and maintain them for future generations. Now is the time for places and people to get involved.”
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Organisations involved in the scheme are Community Action Suffolk, Festival of Suffolk, Forestry Commission, Greenlight Trust, Ipswich Oasis, National Trust, Royal Forestry Society, St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, Suffolk Agricultural Association, Suffolk Association of Local Councils, Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Tree Warden Network, Suffolk Wildlife Trust, Tree Council and Woodland Trust.
The scheme partners can direct interested individuals, groups or schools to the necessary advice, help and support. Every tree or hedge can be recorded on a national data map.
The East Anglian Daily Times is supporting the call for volunteers and groups to get planting.
Brad Jones, editor of the EADT, said: "There may be many people asking themselves what they can do to help tackle climate change. Well here you go - this is one fantastic idea, and a great way for people to make a positive difference.
"We're delighted to get behind it and encourage our readers to get involved."
Frances Jannaway, who coordinates more than 200 tree wardens for the Suffolk Tree Warden Network, is distributing fully subsidised tree and hedgerow packs in partnership with the Woodland Trust, and is now taking orders for next year.
Town and parish councils without a dedicated tree warden can also apply for 50 to 150 saplings with five native species or hedging for 50metres or 100m.
People with their own plots are entitled to up to two subsidised tree packs. Schools and community groups can apply to the Woodland Trust’s ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ initiative.
Jonny Ball, outreach advisor for the Woodland Trust, said: “Schools also have the potential to receive up to 420 trees a year for projects and landowners can apply for a 75% grant from the 'MOREwoods' initiative or they can apply to the English Woodland Creation scheme run by the Forestry Commission.”
Richard Rout, deputy leader at Suffolk County Council, said: “Trees and woodlands make an enormous contribution to our environment and quality of life in Suffolk.
“They are something that we must continue to nurture and replenish, to help tackle climate change and support nature recovery.
"They also enhance our towns and villages as green spaces, so please join us in supporting the Queens Green Canopy.”
How to get involved
QGC organisers want to ensure that everyone in Suffolk can 'Plant a tree for the Jubilee', either directly or through someone else.
If individuals or organisations are interested, the initiative's partners can advise or help. For more information and links to various organisations involved, visit www.suffolk-lieutenancy.org.uk/queens-green-canopy/
People who would prefer to make a donation in support of tree planting can give to the Suffolk Canopy Fund, which has been created by the Suffolk Community Foundation.
The time to plant is between November and March, and Fe Morris, Fressingfield Tree Warden, highlights a seven-step plan:
- Find a suitable location, check permissions and infrastructure services.
- Make sure the right tree, is in the right place, for the right reason. What species do well in the area? Consider biodiversity gain from trees, shrubs and hedges. Some species are more drought and/or pollution resistant. Some have decorative qualities too.
- Source your trees and shrubs, noting that container-grown trees generally require more aftercare than bare-root saplings.
- Plan who is planting, what and when. Is a risk assessment required?
- Plant correctly, following a guide from an expert.
- Protect new trees and hedging from herbivores and the wind, with guards and stakes.
- Maintain your effort. Watering, mulching and reducing competition from grass and weeds all needs to be considered in advance, and done over the first few years.