An environmental group in Eastbourne is celebrating after being awarded a grant of more than £400,000 to plant trees on streets across the town.
Treebourne has been given £418,000 by the Urban Tree Challenge Fund to plant 1,000 street trees over the next two years. Encouraging community involvement was a key part of the group’s successful bid and so Treebourne is creating a scheme inviting people to suggest where the trees will be planted. They will also launch a Tree Champions scheme giving volunteers the chance to look after the young trees as they grow.
‘This is a phenomenal opportunity,’ said Treebourne’s co-leader Adam Rose. ‘Our aim is to grow a green legacy in Eastbourne and this money will help to transform the town. Trees bring so much benefit to our communities – not just capturing carbon and reducing CO2 emissions but also encouraging wildlife in the heart of our urban areas. They also absorb pollution and clean the air, and have been shown to improve our mental health and wellbeing. Eastbourne and the surrounding area has lost so many elm and ash trees to disease in recent years, so to be able to plant so many new trees in the town will be fantastic.’
Eastbourne Borough Council has been supporting Treebourne’s work and has welcomed the successful bid. Cllr Jonathan Dow, the council’s Lead Member for Climate Change said, ‘We are delighted to be supporting Treebourne in this fantastic initiative to plant 1,000 trees across the borough. I am hugely grateful to the Forestry Commission’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund for awarding the funding to Eastbourne.
‘Support for this project is yet another example of the council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency and helping the town become carbon neutral by 2030. The benefits to residents - in terms of the environment as well as improved health and wellbeing - cannot be overstated. We would encourage as many residents as possible to get involved in the project as it progresses.”
The exact locations of the new trees will be decided in the coming weeks. Areas where existing tree cover is low will be prioritised for planting. The trees will be planted by contractors with half going in the ground this winter, and the rest next year. Treebourne will release details of how local communities can suggest planting locations, and how to get involved in the project as a Tree Champion, in the coming weeks.
The Street Trees project is one of several organised by Treebourne as part of its pledge to plant 100,000 trees over the next decade. Last winter volunteers planted more than 14,000 saplings in Sevenoaks Recreation Ground and Tugwell Park. Other projects will see trees planted on a variety of privately and publicly owned sites across the town.
For more information visit www.treebourne.org