CJS Focus on Trees & Hedges

Published:  21 November 2005

In Association with: Tree Council for National Tree Week


Planners urged to insist on more trees

Journalist and broadcaster Jon Snow, who is helping to launch The Tree Council’s National Tree Week and celebrate its 30th anniversary, is a firm advocate of boosting Britain’s treescape.

In the foreword of a new Tree Council book, Trees in Your Ground, he writes: “A national drive to plant more trees, encompassing individuals, communities and local authorities, could have a fantastic effect on most neighbourhoods, urban and rural alike. The trouble is that most people have no idea of what they, as individuals, could do to make it happen. I hope that Trees in Your Ground will help provoke that revolution in tree planting. “I hope, too, that it will raise the profile of the tree right up on the planning agenda. Indeed I believe the tree should be at the very heart of ‘planning gain’. More, that no new build or major refurbishment of buildings with a street frontage should be permitted without additional tree planting accompanying the plans.” The book aims to encourage everyone to value and care for trees in their neighbourhoods and help them to choose the right trees for their patch.  It supports the message of this year’s National Tree Week, and is being published to coincide with the start of the festival.

“This year’s theme is ‘Plant trees in your ground’ — that is, anywhere you live, work, learn or play and therefore consider to be ‘your patch’,” said Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council. “We hope to make it the best ever National Tree Week to mark the 30th anniversary of the UK’s largest celebration of trees and woods.” “Not everyone owns a garden but we all have a local patch which we regard as ‘our ground’ and where we can influence what happens, even if we can’t actually plant trees there ourselves. So we want people to take a look at that patch. In most cases, it could do with more trees. “We are urging people to get out with friends, family, colleagues, school or community either to plant trees — with any necessary advance permission — in suitable areas of their neighbourhoods or to encourage those who are in a position to do so.”

The Tree Council’s National Tree Week kicks off on Wednesday 23 November when Jon Snow and actor Terry Molloy — who plays Mike Tucker, the new Ambridge Tree Warden in the BBC Radio 4 series, ‘The Archers’ — plant a celebratory tree in the heart of a London community. The tree, a half-hardy species of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus dalrympleana) was chosen for Bernie Spain Gardens, in the Coin Street Community on London’s South Bank, near the Thames, because the wind can be a challenge for young trees there. Eucalyptus is on the list of ‘windfirm’ trees in Trees in Your Ground.  The celebratory tree is just one of the many thousands going into the ground during National Tree Week (23 November to 4 December), which marks the beginning of the winter planting season. Environmental charity The Tree Council, a partnership of organisations working together for trees, started this annual festival in 1975 and it quickly became a highlight of the calendar. Over 20 million trees have been planted as a result and many millions of people have been involved.

“By getting involved in adding trees to their neighbourhoods, more and more people appreciate the many reasons why trees matter,” said Pauline. “Planted properly and given a few minutes of annual care in their early years, trees can create attractive places to live, work and relax, bring jobs and opportunities for sustainable development and become a source of renewable fuel and useful, home-grown products. Trees also attract more wildlife to ‘your ground’ and are a great way to learn about the environment, linked to the national curriculum.  “Last year, nearly half a million people took part in the hundreds of public events organised throughout the country. Many more people entered into the spirit by planting trees on their own or with relatives, workmates or fellow pupils.”

This year’s National Tree Week is supported by Robert Horne Group with the help of customers purchasing its recycled and FSC papers. The launch event and publication of the book are supported by National Grid, long-standing sponsors of The Tree Council’s volunteer Tree Warden Scheme.

 • Details of National Tree Week events are regularly updated on the website, www.treecouncil.org.uk and are also available on the infoline, 020 7940 8180 (office hours).

 The new book, Trees in Your Ground, is available by sending a cheque for £8.99 (including postage and packing) to The Tree Council, 71 Newcomen Street, London SE1 1YT.

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