Cornwall Council is issuing a call to residents to help plant the Forest for Cornwall, take action to fight the climate emergency and bring more nature into their communities.
The ambitious programme to plant carbon-absorbing woodlands and forests across 8,000 hectares of land – equivalent to 15,000 football pitches – is part of the unitary authority’s climate change action plan to help Cornwall reach net-zero emissions by 2030.
It can only happen if, with Council support, organisations, landowners, communities and individuals get trees in the ground across multiple locations including woods, parks, farmland, towns, villages and gardens.
Every tree planted since September 2019 counts towards the Forest for Cornwall and more than 200,000 trees have already been planted.
Residents are being reminded to register any new trees on the Forest for Cornwall website now.
With National Tree Week running from November 27 to December 5 the Council is highlighting a range of tree-planting events and educational activities to get residents of all ages and backgrounds involved and starting to contribute to the Forest for Cornwall.
The nation’s largest annual tree celebration marks the start of the winter planting season from now until March and across Cornwall activities include:
- Planting of commemorative Landmark Trees in 46 towns and parishes where free trees have been given through the Forest for Cornwall. and Woodland Trust Emergency Tree Fund to celebrate or commemorate a person, place or event.
- Volunteer tree planting at Trenow Fields, a market garden near Marazion, where more than 5,000 trees need to get in the ground this winter to create shelterbelts and widen hedges for wildlife.
- Daily tree-planting sessions in Calstock November 27 – December 4 to grow the Forest for Calstock.
- A Making Space for Nature project led by Helston Town Council and Helston Climate Action Group at King George V Playing Field, Helston, where pupils from St Michael’s School are helping to plant more than 400 Woodland Trust trees on November 29.
- An agroforestry talk on November 29 and farm walk for farmers and landowners in Ladock on December 3.
- Talks on Cornish orchards and woodlands at the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro on November 30 and December 2.
- Educational workshops on trees hosted by a Forest School tutor for all ages at the Royal Cornwall Museum on December 4 and Falmouth Library on November 27 and December 4.
Councillor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s cabinet member for the environment and climate change, said: “There is considerable interest out there from our residents, community groups, partners, suppliers, contractors and landowners alike for tree planting, the Forest for Cornwall and working together to tackle the climate emergency but also to bring more wildlife and biodiversity into our communities.
“We have attracted significant external funding for the Forest for Cornwall and developed strong local relationships with the private sector and landowners.
“Now we are calling on everyone to get involved in tree planting, whether it’s a largescale project or community planting or an individual tree in your garden - get your boots muddy during National Tree Week and throughout the winter planting season. And don’t forget to register the trees you plant as being part of the Forest for Cornwall.”
The Forest for Cornwall aims to extend canopy cover over an additional 2% of Cornwall’s total land area and capture 38,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, representing 1% of Cornwall’s current greenhouse gas emissions.
As well as several large areas of woodland and forests on public and private land, there will be many smaller copses and individual trees, with connecting corridors in the form of hedgerows, and trees along rivers, trails, cycle routes and in urban streets.
The programme aligns to the Council’s ambitions to strengthen the protection of existing trees, woodlands and hedges.
The Council’s Forest for Cornwall team is offering support to landowners, businesses and farmers to grow more trees commercially; signposting to community groups, schools, colleges and local councils in accessing free trees and giving advice to individuals who want to get involved in community planting activities in this and future planting seasons.
The Council itself is also planting more trees in towns across Cornwall; working with farmers and landowners to explore major planting schemes; increasing tree-planting on Council-owned farms and other land; and encouraging the setting up of more community nurseries to grow tree saplings.
New national programmes are also being launched to support tree planting including the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs’ England Tree Planting Programme and the Forestry Commission’s England Woodland Creation Offer to encourage more planting for flood risk prevention, social amenities, improved water quality and nature recovery.
The Forest for Cornwall is also set to form a vital part of Cornwall’s green recovery in creating more skilled jobs in the environmental sectors including arboriculture, horticulture and farming.
To get involved in the Forest for Cornwall now, see: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/forestforcornwall
PICTURE CAPTION: A father and his young son plant oak saplings at Lanchard Woods, Liskeard, under the part ERDF-funded Green Infrastructure for Growth 2 Making Space for Nature project in partnership with Liskeard in Bloom. Every tree planted in Cornwall since 2019 counts towards the Forest for Cornwall.
Story posted November 25, 2021