150,000 new trees for Worcestershire in the next five years

Standing Left to Right: Laura Judson, Head of Philanthropy for the Woodland Trust, Councillor Tony Miller, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for the Environment, and Councillor Simon Geraghty, Leader of Worcestershire County Council. Published Thursday, 9th July 2020

Two new woodland areas in Worcestershire are to be created, as part of the County Council’s commitment to protect the environment.

The north and south of Worcestershire will see new woodland, as up to 120,000 trees will be planted across sites in Bewdley and Evesham, on County Council owned land.

Other sites are being considered to complement the two sites in other areas of the county to reach the committed target within the 5 years.

The 9 acre site in Bewdley is near to the Council run Blackstone Picnic Place, and trees are set to be planted on this site this Autumn.

The Evesham site is in Norton, located north of the Valley retail park consisting of some 155 acres. Given the scale of the site, planting here is set to be phased over a 5 year period.

The new woodland plans were approved as part of the Council’s draft budget for 2020/21 which was approved by Full Council in February.

Worcestershire County Council Leader Simon Geraghty said: “Protecting the environment is one of the four key priorities in our ambitious plan for the county, Shaping Worcestershire’s Future.

“Our pledge to plant 150,000 trees will help enhance the local environment and create at least two new woodland areas in the County for residents and visitors to enjoy in years to come.

“We are making this commitment to plant these trees over the next five years on our own land so we can make a positive and tangible difference and play our part in improving the environment.

We’re really keen for the new woodland areas to become something our residents and our local communities can really become involved in, particularly at the Bewdley site. I hope this inspires other organisations to join us in planting more trees on land they own so further new woodlands can be created to create a lasting green legacy for future generations.”

The County Council will be working closely with The Woodland Trust on the project and the charity will be supplying the 150,000 trees.
The Council’s project to create these two woodland sites has been included within the Woodland Trust’s proposed plans to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum anniversary.

Karl Mitchell from the Woodland Trust, said: “The Woodland Trust is delighted to be involved in this exciting project. Never have our woods and trees been more important than they are today, we must protect what we have and plant many more to expand the UKs woodland, to help fight back against climate change and nature decline.

Native trees and woods provide habitats for a huge diversity of plants, animals, fungi and living things, a single mature oak alone supports hundreds of other species. Worcestershire are leading the way and we hope this will encourage others to follow its example, the UK needs millions of new trees every year to help reach the climate change targets, and this can only be achieved by us all working together.”

The Council’s Countryside Services will be designing the woodland areas, working with the Woodland Trust.