Working in partnership to increase trees in our landscape
In partnership with Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick, and Wychavon District Councils, the Heart of England Forest is continuing to lead a three-year project to engage with landowners and local communities to increase tree cover across the landscape. By working together to identify suitable areas for trees to be planted, facilitate tree planting, and support woodland maintenance, new woodlands will be created that benefit the environment, boost biodiversity, and provide havens for communities to enjoy for generations to come. So, what has our Trees Call to Action Project (TCAP) team been doing over the summer to ensure this becomes a reality?
Working within the community
Over the summer months, The TCAP team has been connecting with local parishes in the Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick and Wychavon District Council areas. Meaningful and impactful conversations with 196 local parishes have led to a vast number of enquiries about ways in which the team can support their communities. We have shared expertise in ensuring the right tree goes in the right place for the right reason. We have helped direct groups to access free trees, as well as supported them to access grants for trees, protective guards, and fencing, and we are currently planning lots of exciting community tree planting days this coming winter season.
In addition to this, our team has worked with the communities within these Districts to plan hedgerow and orchard planting this winter.
Our residents have gone above and beyond by not only watering their sponsored trees when necessary but also watering the neighbouring ones with any excess water. This collective effort truly showcases the power of community involvement and support.
Based on the success of this year, we are already planning to expand our planting efforts next year and increase our local tree cover. Together, we can make Great Alne an even greener and more vibrant place to live!
As we reflect on our journey, we acknowledge a few things we would have done differently. We would have planted more trees, kept a detailed plan of tree locations, sought assistance sooner, and welcomed a TCAP officer to guide us on the planting day. Nevertheless, we remain proud of what we have achieved together.
Working with farmers and landowners
The summer months gave plenty of opportunities for the team to liaise with farmers and landowners through our contacts with various wildlife farming groups, Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, and the NFU, about how to integrate trees into their farm settings. A successful farm walk gave us chance to engage in conversations with local farmers and landowners, and show how tree planting has been integrated into the Heart of England Forest’s organic farming operations. Agroforestry benefits the soil, improves animal welfare and yield, reduces costs, boosts biodiversity, alleviates flooding, and helps to mitigate climate change. All things generations to come will benefit from.
The TCAP team members have enjoyed their work with local landowners and famers and are thrilled to announce that 15,651 free trees have been ordered to assist with a sustainable future. Now the team is working on facilitating tree collection and continuing with planning to ensure the trees enhance the landscapes for farmers and landowners.
More than tree planting
As a charity we are about so much more than just planting trees. This runs through into our Trees Call to Action Project. Our project team members, Amy, Craig and Laura, have assisted in the delivery of community orchard maintenance, ensuring that the trees that communities already have survive and flourish. Our team delivers expertise in tree care, which incorporates advice on weeding, mulching, staking, and protective guard removal.
The project has also enabled and encouraged local people to learn more about the wonder of trees including the running of several events, such as basic tree identification days. TCAP team members have also been out sharing their passion at events and fetes within the Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick, and Wychavon Districts, encouraging people to do their bit - whether that is to look at their local area and see if there are any opportunities, or support our tree planting projects across the area.
This month our team continues with site visits including to schools and colleges. If you are a local landowner, farmer, or a community group looking for advice, please get in touch today: TCAP@heartofenglandforest.org
This project is funded by the Trees Call to Action Fund. The fund was developed by Defra in partnership with the Forestry Commission and is being delivered by the Heritage Fund.