More than 16,500 trees are due to be planted in Devon this winter through the Emergency Tree Fund initiative.
The announcement comes as part of National Tree Week (26 November – 4 December) which kicks off the winter tree-planting season.
We have been offering free packs of trees to landowners and communities within Devon for a second year thanks to the Emergency Tree Fund granted by The Woodland Trust. The initiative is enabling private landowners, as well as town and parish councils, to plant trees as part of the response to tackle the Climate Emergency and achieve carbon net zero targets.
A total of 150 free packs, each containing 45 native broadleaved whips, have been delivered to landowners in Devon who successfully applied through the scheme. It means 6,750 trees through the Free Tree Scheme will be planted as part of this year’s National Tree Week.
We are also ensuring that a further 9,820 trees are planted this season, with the majority of these trees being located on the County Farms Estate.
When added to last year’s figure of over 8,440 trees planted in Devon, which also supported The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, that gives a grand total of around 25,000 over two years.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said:
“We’ve had a really positive response from landowners across the county and it’s encouraging that so many of them are taking advantage of the Emergency Tree Fund. Working with us and the Woodland Trust they’re playing their part in helping to reduce carbon emissions. It’s impressive to think that once we reach the end of this current planting season this initiative will have helped 25,000 trees to have been planted. That’s a great start and it highlights the impact this scheme is having.”
Ross Kennerley, South West Regional Director for the Woodland Trust, said: “Working together means we can have greater impact. We need more trees. As well as tackling climate change, they also create vital homes for wildlife and places for the people of Devon to relax and feel restored by being closer to nature. The Emergency Tree Fund is one of several offers we have for landowners and communities and we are pleased to be able to work with Devon County Council to increase the number of trees and woodlands across the county.”
We’re working closely with the Woodland Trust to support the Saving Devon’s Treescapes initiative. Run by the Devon Wildlife Trust on behalf of the Devon Ash Dieback Resilience Forum, and with assistance from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, this project is promoting community engagement in tree issues to help Devon’s landscapes to cope with the devastating loss of ash trees through disease.
We have also been successful in its bid for support through Defra and the Forestry Commission’s Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund (WCAF). The £300,000 of funding will be used to develop, design and organise proposals for tree and woodland planting initiatives on public and privately owned land in Devon, Torbay and Plymouth over the next two winters.
To find out more about the Emergency Tree Fund please visit our dedicated webpages.
Information on sources of funding and other support, along with advice on how to plant in the right place with the right tree, is available on the Devon Local Nature Partnership website.