Thanks to the £300,000 fund, Devon County Council has teamed up with Parklife South West who will be co-ordinating the work on the ground. ParkLife South West is a not-for-profit social enterprise set up in 2019 to provide opportunities for individuals and community groups to get involved with environmental projects in the places where they live.
South Hams District Council, along with Ivybridge Town and Wembury Parish Councils, are among the first to take part in the initiative and they’re helping to plant 4,000 broadleaf whips at 14 different sites by the end of March.
The Emergency Tree Fund in Devon has been set up to get local councils and organisations involved in tree planting to highlight how it can be accelerated across Devon to help address climate change, absorb carbon, support nature recovery and counter the effects of tree diseases such as ash dieback.
South Hams District Council has already got the project off to a flying start planting 300 trees at Woodland Park in Ivybridge and Follaton Arboretum in Totnes.
Ivybridge Town Council has been joined by volunteers to plant 500 trees at Victoria Park in the town. A further 400 trees will be planted at Filham Park in Ivybridge on Tuesday 22 February.
From Monday 14 February South Hams District Council will be planting 500 trees at Torr Park in Ivybridge with the help of pupils from Partly Manor Primary School. The District Council will also plant 250 trees at Woodlands Cemetery on Thursday 10 March and 400 trees at Jawbones in Dartmouth on Saturday 19 March.
Later this month all of the children at Wembury Primary School will help to plant 600 trees in the school grounds.
There will also be a community planting day to plant 200 trees at Down Thomas Recreation Field in Wembury parish on Thursday 24 February, and 200 trees will be planted at Wembury Recreation Ground on Friday 25 February by Wembury Environment Group and the local community.
In March, volunteers in Ivybridge will join the Town Council to plant a total of 400 trees at Holman Way, St Peters Way, and MacAndrews Field.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “Devon is the most wooded county in the south west, but we need more trees. They’re so important for soaking up carbon, provide important habitats for wildlife and they’re good for our wellbeing. The Emergency Tree Fund is aiming to create a co-ordinated approach to tree planting across Devon and we’re keen to encourage other town and parish councils to get involved in the project. This is a great start in the South Hams for this season, and we’re hoping other areas will get on board for the next tree planting season.”