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Urban trees bring the feeling of the Forest to housing estates within The National Forest

Wednesday, 18th March 2015

Almost 200 trees are being planted across urban spaces within The National Forest this month as part of the National Forest Company (NFC)’s urban tree planting programme. The trees, which stand over two metres tall, will grace parks, housing estates and allotments from Newhall to Ashby and from Measham to Ellistown.

The trees have been funded in part by the National Forest Company’s Programme Development Fund, in order to increase tree cover in urban areas. Successful applications have been made this year by North West Leicestershire and South Derbyshire district councils and Ellistown parish council.

The trees will be planted in a number of parks including South Street Recreation Ground in Ellistown, Coalville Park and Maurice Lea Park in Swadlincote. In addition, many more trees will bring a feeling of the Forest to housing estates in Woodville, Walton on Trent and Moira amongst others.

The specimen trees will be planted by groups of school children, ‘friends of’ groups and volunteers with assistance from district and parish councils. Once planted, the trees will contribute to the growing urban Forest bringing benefits to both residents and the environment. Trees add to the beauty of the environment, create shade, absorb water, clean the air and provide food and shelter for wildlife.

Councillor Alison Smith MBE, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Community Services at North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “The urban tree planting programme is such a great project to be involved in and we support it wholeheartedly. Bringing greenery into our streets and housing estates really helps to bring The National Forest onto people’s doorstep. We have helped to plant more than 25,000 trees across the district over the past seven years as part of our Green Footprints agenda, and we are not going to stop there. The tree planting programme not only improves the look of the district but also helps expand The National Forest which is something very close to our hearts here.”

Councillor Bob Wheeler, Leader of South Derbyshire District Council, said: “Here in South Derbyshire we are very proud of our position right at the heart of The National Forest and we’re keen to welcome any scheme that encourages the planting of more trees.

“It’s reassuring for our urban areas that new tree-planting is not limited to rural destinations.

“We’re committed to making every corner of the District more attractive for those living, working and visiting here and this latest scheme will help us to progress that vision." 

Philip Metcalfe, Green Infrastructure and Planning Officer for the NFC, said: “The National Forest has been created through the planting of more than 8 million trees since the early 1990s. The planting of further trees within our towns and villages helps to demonstrate that the urban areas are as much a part of the Forest as the hundreds of woodlands that have been created through all the varied landscapes of the whole 200 square miles of the Forest.”

Applications can be submitted now to the NFC’s Programme Development Fund for tree planting to be undertaken next winter. The grant is available to councils, groups and businesses and forms part of a range of grants for tree planting and habitat creation available from the NFC. For further information please contact Philip Metcalfe on pmetcalfe@nationalforest.org or 01283 551211, or visit the website www.nationalforest.org.