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Wiltshire Council and Bradford on Avon Town Council work in partnership to secure tree-planting funding

The total funding of £96,252.43, which will be matched with an additional contribution of £41,349 from Bradford on Avon Town Council

Published 24 September 2021
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Wiltshire Council and Bradford on Avon Town Council have worked together to secure a £96,000 grant from the Forestry Commission's Local Authorities Treescape Fund to plant around 3,000 trees and hedgerow trees in the town.

The total funding of £96,252.43, which will be matched with an additional contribution of £41,349 from Bradford on Avon Town Council, this pilot tree planting programme in the town that, if successful, could be rolled out to other towns in Wiltshire.

The town council has already identified suitable sites, both on its own land and on Wiltshire Council land, which it will take on from the unitary authority as part of an asset transfer programme. Preparatory work as part of the funding application has already been completed, and so planting will start this winter, followed by a programme of maintenance.

Cllr Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Climate Change, said: "Wiltshire Council is at the forefront of efforts to increase tree planting across the county and this is a fine example of partnership working with a town council that has acted quickly to write and submit the bid and secure the funding.

"The next stage - planting - will move quickly too, as the 3,000 trees will be planted over the next two years throughout the town's green spaces to capture carbon, create new habitats and encourage wildlife.

"This funding will not only be spent on trees and hedgerows, but also on the equipment required to plant them, plus other features to protect the trees and benefit native wildlife, such as fencing to stop animals from eating or damaging the young trees.

"We're looking forward to the start of the planting programme, and to watching the trees in the town's parks, play areas, allotments and cemeteries as they grow and mature throughout the years to become a real green asset for the community and wildlife. This is a really positive step towards implementing the goals in our draft Natural Environment Plan and nature-based solutions to climate change, as also identified in the draft Climate Strategy.''

"If this programme is successful, we will be looking to secure more funding to roll it out to other towns in Wiltshire."

Sarah Gibson, Mayor of Bradford on Avon said: "This funding will help Bradford on Avon Town Council act on the Climate and Ecological Emergencies. As we take on management of land from Wiltshire Council under the asset transfer programme, the town council will be able to quickly make a start on delivering improvements on the ground with the local community.

"We recently held a consultation about Poulton Park where residents told us they would like more trees planted and we will involve the public in identifying further places where these trees will make the town even more beautiful."

"We're pleased that we can announce this during the Big Green Week, where events for climate and nature are happening across the UK, including a community event on Saturday 25 September in St Margaret's Hall and Westbury Gardens in Bradford on Avon."

The funding will pay for 107 standard trees, 40 feathers (young trees with branches extending from the main stem), 3,185 whips (single, whip-like shoots), plus sheep netting, rabbit fencing, deer fencing gates and guards. Most of the new trees will be native species, though there will also be some more ornamental exotic tree species planted during the programme.

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