Saturday, 14 December 2019

Tree planting campaign to reduce carbon footprint

Tree planting campaign to reduce carbon footprint

A CAMPAIGN to plant thousands of trees in Henley has been launched in order to reduce the town’s carbon footprint.

The town council and the community group Greener Henley have teamed up with the Woodland Trust to provide up to 12,400 trees, the equivalent of two being planted in the garden of every household in the town.

The first batch of 200 saplings, including wild cherry, silver birch and rowan, will be given away free in Market Place tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am to 1pm.

Residents will be able to receive advice from Greener Henley members on how to maintain their new tree.

Members will then be at Tilebarn Wood at the same time on Sunday planting 150 young trees. The group, formerly known as Henley in Transition, planted 224 trees here in 2011.

Patrick Fleming, who is secretary of Greener Henley and a member of the council’s climate emergency working group, said he wanted to see 500,000 trees planted in Henley and the surrounding parishes in order to help the town become carbon neutral by 2030.

He said: “We are starting off with this as a way to spread the word and get people involved.

“After this weekend the real hard work starts. For the working group it is important to establish who owns different bits of land and finding out what grants are available to encourage landowners to plant trees appropriately.

“Every project we do is going to have hurdles and complications and we will have to overcome those. My goal is for 500,000 trees and I think we can do it.

“One estate I have spoken to has planted 200,000 trees since 2007, which helps me to understand how achievable it is.”

Residents are invited to collect a tree tomorrow and then attend the tree planting on Sunday.

Mr Fleming said: “We want people to come and talk to us. Even if they don’t want to plant any trees, it is an opportunity to talk to them about what we are hoping to achieve. We are finding that more and more people want to be proactive and get their hands dirty and that is great.”

Town councillor Stefan Gawrysiak said: “Our aim is to get lots of trees planted in people’s gardens and we will be following up with the schools and sports clubs.

“We are trying to improve the air quality and these trees can be used as a carbon sink towards the climate emergency but some of them also look very attractive.

“This is something that is completely achievable and everyone in Henley can get involved.

“For households, I think this is a no-brainer and the fact that everyone can contribute towards the solution is brilliant.”

To have a tree delivered to your home, email henleytrees@gmail.com

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