Tree nursery near Snitterfield to play key role in Warwickshire climate change fight
Councillors agreed to use £140,000 from the Climate Change Action Fund for the project, with a commitment to plant 566,000 trees across the county over the next eight years.
It is expected that the planting programme will be carried out by a combination of county, district and borough councils, along with private sector organisations and volunteer groups.
A report considered by last Thursday’s cabinet meeting said: “Regardless of who plants the trees or how they are funded it is clear that the most cost-effective way to acquire these trees is by establishing a tree nursery which would become self-funding from the sale of trees.
“Additionally, a tree nursery would have added benefits including the ability to grow specific varieties that thrive in Warwickshire and are resistant to pests and disease, have a low carbon footprint from reduced transport and the potential for the development of arboriculturist apprentices.
"The proposal utilises existing forestry team expertise and resources, the repurpose of WCC-owned agricultural land and compost generated from the county’s waste team.”
Five sites were looked at but the one at Heath End, near Snitterfield, was considered the most suitable as it had the best soil, elevation and existing barns and other buildings. The site has a water supply, as well as a stream which can be used for irrigation and it is ideally placed within the county for easy access to the road system.
Cllr Heather Timms (Con, Earl Craven) the portfolio holder for environment, climate and culture, said: “We have a commitment in Warwickshire to plant a tree for every resident. Currently there are very few tree nurseries within the UK and most of the trees are imported from Europe.
“The hope is that we can at least supply our own trees and hopefully be able to supply trees to other local authorities who have similar commitments.”
A Forestry Commission grant of £22,000 has also been secured to help meet set-up costs and it is anticipated the project will have paid for itself within three years.