Warwickshire County Council has announced that it will plant a tree for every resident living in Warwickshire.
With the 2021/22 tree planting season underway, and as world leaders gather in Glasgow for COP26, Warwickshire County Council says it has tree planting plans for coming years that will see a tree for every resident planted across the county.
This tree planting has been planned to restore parts of forests and wooded areas that have been lost to time, such as the ancient Forest of Arden, which once covered most of the county and beyond into Staffordshire and Worcestershire.
To this end, the council has been successful – along with partners in the district and borough councils – in its bid for £212k from the Forestry Commission's Local Authority Treescape Fund to plant 2,000 standard trees.
The trees will be restoring hedgerows on local authority-owned farms and public open space in the more rural areas of the county.
The council’ is also funding schemes through the Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund – such as the Children’s Forest at Leasowe Farm – and is also supporting the Queen’s Green Canopy, which encourages residents to plant trees for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
To keep track of trees being planted across the county, the council has recently signed up to the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Virtual Forest Platform.
This is an online mapping tool that is designed to allow anyone who has planted a tree to register it with the virtual forest and it is hoped that all new tree plantings across the county, and wider region, will be registered there.
The West Midlands Virtual Forest is not just for local authorities, it is also an opportunity for Warwickshire residents to get involved.
The platform is open to everyone, whether they are a resident, a community group, a business, a landowner or a school.
Cllr Heather Timms, portfolio holder for heritage, culture and the environment, said: “There are no greater challenges facing humanity than those posed by the climate emergency.
"The response to this crisis cannot be met by local or national governments acting alone. It will require a concerted effort by all of us, making changes, large and small, to reverse the damage that we have done to our planet and its ecosystems.
"Tree planting will be integral to this response.
“There are few better demonstrations of our commitment, as local authorities in Warwickshire, to play our part in addressing the climate emergency than our coming together with a commitment to plant a native tree for each of our residents.
“The Woodlands Trust have stated that to meet the UK’s carbon net-zero target, it will need to plant a million more trees across the country.
"In Warwickshire, we are now committed to playing our part in planting close to half that amount.”
More information about the WMCA Virtual Forest can be found here: https://virtualforest-tfwm.hub.arcgis.com/pages/tree-planting-groups