Council scheme aims to help boost tree planting in the Chichester District
Residents and businesses are being encouraged to sponsor a tree in one of the Chichester District’s many parks and gardens, as part of a council scheme that aims to help tackle climate change and protect the local environment.
This week, councillors Penny Plant and Sarah Sharp, who are members of Chichester District Council’s Environment Panel, planted a new tree at Whyke recreation ground to help raise awareness of the scheme.
“Trees are a precious natural asset and, as a natural carbon sink, are a vital part of the fight against climate change,” says Cllr Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council.
“This scheme gives people the opportunity to play their part in the fight against climate change. Whether it’s a unique gift or to remember a loved one, planting a tree is great way to leave your mark on the district for future generations.
“Tackling climate change is a key issue and we are currently developing a Climate Emergency Action Plan which sets out a carbon reduction target of 10% year on year until 2025 within the district.”
Trees have numerous environmental and economic benefits, including:
- One tree absorbs around one tonne of carbon during its lifetime making it one of the cheapest, most cost effective means of reducing carbon.
- Trees help us adapt to climate change, through reducing 'urban heat island' effect and helping us to mitigate against flooding.
- One tree produces enough oxygen each year to support two people
- Trees provide a wonderfully rich habitat for all sorts of wildlife, greatly improving biodiversity.
- Trees improve health and wellbeing by purifying contaminated water and removing harmful pollutants from the air.
Councillor Sarah Sharp, Ward Member for Chichester South is keen to encourage people to take part in this scheme: “We want to plant as many trees as we can to help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and to provide much needed summer shade.
“Trees also have many other benefits, including: encouraging wildlife; providing shade and shelter; preventing flooding and erosion; and, enhancing our landscape. Trees also have a critical role in helping to improve our health and wellbeing — studies have shown that just looking at green spaces and nature can help people deal with stressful events; reduce blood pressure and aggression; and boost positivity. I hope that through this scheme, we can inspire people to plant more trees in our city, towns and villages.
“It’s really easy to sponsor a tree. Our Green Spaces team will be on hand to guide you through the process, and then plant your tree in one of our beautiful parks and gardens during planting season between October and March. If you would like to find out more about this, please contact our Green Spaces team who would be happy to help.”
Carbon reduction is already a key focus in many areas of the council’s work. New policies are currently being proposed to set standards for sustainable construction, energy efficiency and water usage in new developments through the Local Plan Review. Policies for sustainable drainage, flooding and wildlife corridors also form part of this work.
The council’s Air Quality Action Plan also aims to reduce carbon emissions through the development of new walking and cycling infrastructure and the installation of electric vehicle charging points across the district.
People can find out more about sponsoring a tree in one of the district’s parks and gardens by visiting www.chichester.gov.uk/biodiversity, or by emailing the council’s Green Spaces team at firstname.lastname@example.org.