Woods are good and trees are the bee’s knees according to one county councillor who has put forward a plan to help meet a commitment of planting a tree for every Warwickshire resident.
Cllr Tim Sinclair (Con, Stratford North) proposed the nine-point scheme at this week’s full council meeting - a motion that was given cross-party support even though a Liberal Democrat amendment incorporating partnership working with experts such as the Woodland Trust and Forestry Commission was dismissed.
Quoting poetry from the start of his address to the chamber, Cllr Sinclair extolled the virtue of trees, adding how much of a boost they gave the environment.
He said: “Trees are good for our well-being - getting out amongst them is something I and my family do on a very regular occasion and I would encourage you all to do it. Many studies show there are benefits of spending time in nature. In short, if I might put it in these terms, woods are good and trees and the bee's knees.
“The council has already made the commitment to partner with communities to plant a tree for every Warwickshire resident which I believe is about 570,000 trees. I think we don’t just need ambition and commitment but a clear strategy so this motion seeks to put a structure in place - a framework to accelerate the work already underway.”
Among the points in the strategy are the creation of a Warwickshire tree nursery to secure a reliable source of trees and working with more schools, colleges and universities to encourage children and young people to become involved in planting and woodland maintenance.
Cllr Jenny Fradgeley (Lib Dem, Stratford West) put forward the amendment which also urged county councillors to get involved by highlighting available land where trees could be planted.
She said: “The amendment asks that emphasis should be put on the importance of partnership working. We cannot get these trees planted or any meaningful change in climate change if we try to work alone.”
But Cllr Adrian Warwick (Con, Fosse) explained the reasons why his party was against any formal partnership with national organisations.
He said: “If we are going to work with those rural areas where we can plant a lot of trees, we are going to have to engage in a nice simplistic manner with the parishes. They are going to be - along with the boroughs and districts - our key partners.
“I can tell you from experience that they don’t want a load of bureaucracy, they just want to put a jacket on and plant some trees. We don’t want to have lots of people we need to consult with because it just makes it very complicated.”