Three years of campaigning sees new trees planted in Northampton

Homeowners in Penrhyn Road are celebrating the return of their street trees this week in the first major tree planting in Far Cotton for 50 years.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 2:40 pm
Pictured from left to right: Denise Tegerdine, Woodland Trust, Joseph Coles, urban tree lead at The Woodland Trust, Alice Whitehead, Save Our Street Tree founder, David Garlic, of Transition Town Northampton and Nari Lee, also part of Transition Town Northampton. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

Up to 10 trees were planted on Tuesday (December 10) after three years of campaigning by Alice Whitehead of Save our Street Trees Northampton.

The pilot project is a collaboration between Alice’s campaign, The Woodland Trust and Northampton Borough Council.

The trees, which include flowering cherries, hornbeams and field maples, have been specifically grown for urban areas by a specialist nursery, and will have a conical shape and smaller root ball so they fit perfectly into the town's setting.

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The trees were planted on Tuesday throughout the day in a residential street in Far Cotton. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

Studies have shown that the street trees will bring a myriad of benefits to residents.

These include cleaner air, cheaper energy bills through reducing the amount of fuel to heat and cool buildings, slower car speeds, less litter and a greater diversity of wildlife.

“We’re over the moon to see this pilot project succeed and bring trees back to this community, and we hope it will be the blueprint for many more Save our Street Tree urban tree projects across Northampton,” said resident Alice Whitehead, who founded the Save Our Street Trees campaign in 2016.

She added: “There are many other areas across town where trees have been removed and not replaced so we will continue to campaign to see the Tree Policy changed to stipulate a replacement in situ when trees are removed, for better maintenance of existing trees, and for the role of council Tree Officer to be reinstated so there is ongoing on-the-ground expertise.”

Alice Whitehead has been at the forefront of the campaign for three years. Pictures by Kirsty Edmonds.

Joseph Coles, urban programme lead at The Woodland Trust, said: “There has never been more awareness about the urgency to plant trees in the face of climate change.

"Every person and every tree has a role to play and the sheer determination of the Save Our Street Trees campaign has enabled this first step.

"The ambition to see trees returning to streets of Northampton is truly inspiring, and this success for Penrhyn Road is a sign of great things to come.”

Pictured from left to right: Nari Lee of Transition Town Northampton, Theri Reichlin of Woodland Dwelling, Joseph Coles of The Woodland Trust, Denise Tegerdine of The Woodland Trust, Alice Whitehead of Save Our Street Trees Northampton, David Garlic of Transition Town Northampton and David Williams of Idverde.