Community helps plant new trees in a Warwick park - including one in memory of the former chair of the park's Friends group
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Seven trees were planted in Priory Park last week as part of a re-planting programme supported by the county council’s Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund.
An official tree-planting event, featuring Warwickshire’s Lord Lieutenant as special guest, was led by The Friends of Priory Park (FOPP) group and attended by residents, children and families.
The free ‘Planting for the Future’ event featured the planting of seven heavy standard lime trees, as well as providing a self-led trail for families to learn more about the park and its natural and ancient history.
The council’s fund provides grant funding to community projects to mitigate against, and adapt to, the impact of climate change, and supports a wide range of small, community-powered initiatives across Warwickshire.
The original application for the Priory Park tree-planting project was submitted by chairman of The Friends of Priory Park group, Jerry Birkbeck, who died before the tree-planting could take place - one of the seven trees planted has been dedicated in his name.
Dave Skinner, deputy chair of FOPP, said: "We would like to thank all the volunteers who came along on February 26 to plant the seven small leaf lime trees in the park.
"We had a very enthusiastic group, including the Warwick Mayor, who managed to plant all the trees in about two hours. It was also lovely to meet and chat with Warwickshire's Lord Lieutenant, Mr Tim Cox, who also attended.
"Each of the local schools and nurseries had a tree allocated to them, with one tree dedicated to Jerry Birkbeck who very sadly passed away recently.
"Jerry as FOPP's chair was the initiator of the planting project and raised the funding from WCC's Green Shoots fund.
"FOPP would like to thank WCC for the grant from the Green Shoots fund and WDC Green Spaces team for their ongoing support and assistance in planning the planting day.
"We were very pleased to meet lots of people passionate about the park and keen to help in the future."
The seven newly planted trees are located in the west area of the park nearby to Priory Medical Centre.
The recent construction of the three-storey centre, which sits within Warwick’s conservation area, required the removal of seven mature trees in order to proceed with the build.
Cllr Heather Timms, portfolio holder for environment, climate and culture, said: “Quite often we see trees become a casualty of new developments, which is why tree planting projects such as this one in Priory Park are so important.
"The impact trees have on our environment and the climate cannot be understated, which only highlights further the need to protect trees and plant new ones when the opportunity is there.
“At Warwickshire County Council we are committed to planting new trees throughout the county or, in the case of Priory Park, replace old trees that have been lost.
"The planting of the seven new trees will enhance the character of this historic park and educate the local community about our fight against the ongoing climate emergency, and what we can all do to help.”
The planting of trees this year is also important for The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), a national tree-planting initiative to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Mr Tim Cox, who is the Queen’s representative in the county, said: “The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is an important event in our history, as this year the Queen becomes the longest reigning monarch in English history after providing seventy years of incredible service to the Nation.
"The Queen’s Green Canopy is a great initiative for everyone to get involved with to help celebrate this incredible achievement, and by planting trees all over the country they will hopefully thrive and leave a legacy be enjoyed for generations to come.”