MORE than 6,000 new trees are being planted in Leicester’s parks and open spaces this winter, thanks to two successful bids for funding.
The city council secured £139,665 from the Forestry Commission’s Local Authority Treescapes fund to plant 85 standard trees (3-4m in height) and 1,875 small trees in Western Park – and a further £10,600 from the Trees for Cities charity, which is funding new planting in Appleton Park and Monks Rest Gardens.
A total of 4,321 small trees are being planted at the two sites this planting season, with many being planted next week – National Tree Week.
Deputy city mayor for the environment Cllr Adam Clarke said: “Trees are hugely valuable to our city, bringing environmental and ecological benefits while also improving our sense of well-being.
“We’re very grateful to both the Forestry Commission and Trees for Cities for supporting these bids and allowing us to plant such a significant number of new trees in Leicester this winter.
“Our commitment to increasing our tree cover is a key part of our plans to ensure Leicester becomes a sustainable, carbon-neutral and climate-adapted city.”
Cllr Piara Singh Clair, deputy city mayor responsible for parks, said: “This is good news for everyone who values Leicester’s parks and open spaces.
“These new trees will be a welcome addition to Western Park, Appleton Park and Monks Rest Gardens, but they also represent our commitment to planning for the future.
“In 25 years or so, these trees will have grown and matured – and will be enjoyed and treasured by future generations too.”
All the new trees will be planted during this year’s planting season, which runs until March.
Leicester’s tree wardens, Leicester Environmental Volunteers and corporate groups are playing a huge part in the planting programme, helping to plant over 900 whips – including Oak, Silver Birch, Beech, Hawthorn and Holly – on Monks Rest Gardens during National Tree Week, and 3,400 on Appleton Park.
Anyone interested in becoming an environmental volunteer can find out more here
Across Leicester, the city council has identified numerous park sites, inner city housing areas and green spaces where as many as 28,000 more trees could be planted over the next 10 years.
Tree canopy already covers around 1,200 hectares in Leicester, with the city council owning around 153,000 individual trees and around 109 hectares of woodland.
More information about the city council’s commitment to maintaining and replenishing its tree stock, and improving the quality of the trees in its care, can be found in the council’s tree strategy at www.leicester.gov.uk/treestrategy
National Tree Week runs from 27 November to 5 December and marks the start of the winter tree-planting season. This season, Leicester City Council plans to plant more than 7,500 trees, supported by its volunteer tree wardens, Leicester Environmental Volunteers and dozens of community volunteers.
Picture caption: Volunteers join parks staff to start the massive task of planting 3,400 trees in Leicester’s Appleton Park. Planting will take place in Monks Rest Gardens next week, during National Tree Week (27 November-5 December).