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Funding for tree planting

Published Monday 27 November, 2023
Last updated on Thursday 22 February, 2024

Swale Borough Council will plant over 15,000 trees thanks to a government grant of £273,400.

The funding, which came from the Forestry Commission’s Local Authority Tree Fund, will enable the council to plant 15,000 whips and 350 standard trees over the next 2 years.

This forms an important part of the council's Climate and Ecological Emergency Action Plan.

The whips, when planted, will be under a metre tall and consist of a thin stem and few branches, but will grow into fully matured trees. They will be protected with biodegradable tree shelters.

The fund aims to restore trees to areas impacted by disease and habitat loss caused by both natural processes and human activity.

This project will benefit our society and local ecosystems by improving biodiversity, increasing carbon absorption and protecting against flooding.

During the first winter planting season 10,000 whips and 200 standard trees will be spread across the borough, namely in Queenborough, Rushenden, Minster, Kemsley, Murston, Leysdown and Eastchurch.

A wide variety of native trees will be planted including apple, pine, birch, oak, willow, maple, lime and many more.

A portion of the money will also be used to monitor and maintain the new trees for three years, with monthly visits taking place for the first eight months, at a minimum, to make sure they are safe and healthy.

The project is being done in partnership with Blenwood Grounds Maintenance but will also be seeking the help of volunteers from around the community.

Cllr Rich Lehmann, Chair of the environment committee, said:

“We are very proud as a council to have successfully bid for this funding; it's great news.

“With these funds we will be able to plant more trees around the borough as well as maintaining them over a three-year period.

“Whips will be planted to reforest areas, and standard trees will be being planted to line our existing green spaces and urban areas.

“This investment into our natural environment will continue to bear fruits for our communities for years to come as the trees grow and mature.

“This will make Swale a greener place and create habitats to support our ecosystems, while also helping reduce the risks of flooding and remove carbon from our atmosphere.

“We would like to thank the Forestry Commission for this funding and look forward to seeing some more green in our borough!

“Please look out opportunities to volunteer to help us plant these trees, we would love for the community to be involved with this amazing project.”

This funding is part of the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund.

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