Councils back campaign to plant more trees across Northamptonshire

A campaign to plant more trees across the county has been backed by both Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 7:15 pm
The councils have backed a campaign which was started by Far Cotton resident Alice Whitehead

Both authorities have noted the ‘excellent work’ of the Save our Street Trees group in Far Cotton, started by resident Alice Whitehead, which has trialled a planting program for Penrhyn Road this autumn.

But councillors want to extend the scope of the idea, and have called for a ‘transformation of underused urban spaces’ across the county.

The motion was first proposed at Northampton Borough Council, by Councillor Mike Hallam last Monday (September 16), and then by Councillor Jason Smithers at the county council on Thursday (September 19). It was voted through by the vast majority of councillors.

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Councillor Smithers said: “Trees deliver huge benefits such as cleansing the air and storing carbon and generally enhancing the wellbeing of our communities. To ensure future generations receive these benefits and Northamptonshire grows sustainably, we all need to protect existing trees as well as embarking upon a bold program of planting new trees.”

Both councils have now started initial work to form a joint plan for wider scale reinstatement of street trees as part of the move to unitary councils in 2021.

Councillor Hallam added: “The money for this is coming from the Woodland Trust. As individual councillors you know your communities better than anyone. This project has come out of the community, and with the help of the Woodland Trust we can make this happen.”

The Woodland Trust recently launched its Big Climate Fightback campaign in a bid to get more than a million people to pledge to plant a tree, in the run-up to a mass day of planting across the UK on November 30.

There has not yet been a definitive answer yet from the respective councils on how many trees they wish to plant as part of their campaigns.