More than 2,000 new trees will be planted across Worcester – with the city’s mayor pledging to help transform the landscape.
A major new project is starting to help the city become more eco-friendly and pleasing on the eye by turning to its environment.
Over the next few months Worcester City Council intends to lead a drive to plant 2,000 trees at key locations where they can thrive.
The first tranche of the work will start on Saturday at Battenhall Park, near Duck Brook, where the authority will join forces with scouts to plant hazel, oak and holly trees.
It is part of a pledge by Councillor Roger Knight, the Mayor of Worcester, to mark his year in office by leading a tree renaissance in the city.
Last year the local paper revealed how rafts of them were chopped down for the current £41 million project to dual the city’s A4440 Southern Link Road, sparking dismay.
Others have been removed across the city including some obscuring the view between New Road cricket ground and Worcester Cathedral, which also sparked controversy.
Councillor Knight said: “Trees add greatly to the appearance of our city and are really loved by local people.
“I’ve made this pledge to ensure trees will continue to enhance Worcester’s green open spaces for generations to come.”
Saturday’s effort will be aided by helpers from Worcestershire Explorer Scouts, using some of a stock of 880 trees donated by the Woodland Trust.
A community orchard is also being created at Battenhall Park, providing a free source of fresh fruit for passers-by and nearby residents.
Stuart Holm, the Woodland Trust’s creation adviser, said: “The UK has a much lower amount of woodland cover than elsewhere in Europe and we can only increase what we have by working in partnership to encourage others to plant.
“We’re delighted to work with the council and hope the 880 hazel trees we’ve provided will be enjoyed by many people in years to come, and provide valuable habitats for wildlife too.”
Since 2012 the authority has overseen the planting of 143 semi-mature trees and 2,000 sapling trees in Brickfields, Warndon Park, Pitchcroft, Perdiswell, Fort Royal Park and Laugherne Brook.
Some of that was made possible due to money from the charity ‘Trees for Cities’, which is trying to transform Britain’s cities.
The latest planting effort is being supported by a series of other groups including Midland First Buses, McDonald’s in Blackpole, the Heart of Worcestershire College, the River School, the Worcestershire Duckworth Trust, Worcestershire Guides and the Friends of St Peter’s Parks.
Last year’s tree hacking down the A4440 was described as “devastating” by Councillor Knight, but at the time the county council said it was essential in order to widen the route.