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Thousands more trees and hedgerows to be planted in Norfolk this winter

Norfolk County Council, 1 December 2022 00:00

As the nation celebrates National Tree Week (26 November - 4 December 2022) which marks the start of the tree planting season, Norfolk County Council is preparing to plant more than 75,000 young trees and hedges across the county in the months ahead as part of the 1 Million Trees for Norfolk project.

In 2019, Norfolk County Council agreed an ambitious scheme to plant a million trees over five-years. The pandemic brought many challenges and caused delays which meant at the end of last year the total planted trees stood at just over 68,000.

Now the project is picking up pace rapidly, and early in 2023 the Council's Hedge Restoration Fund will be planting 55,000 hedge and tree plants on six County Farms owned by Norfolk County Council.

The hedges will see improvements in nature connectivity across the farms by filling in gaps in hedgerows. This is particularly good for our wildlife as it helps join up habitats and provides corridors for wildlife to safely travel along. The project is funded by a grant from The Tree Council.

Cllr Eric Vardy, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, said:

"This is a huge step forward and will have a big impact in connecting nature across the county. As part of our Environmental Policy, we are working with our County Farm tenants to increase biodiversity on the land. Not only will these trees and hedgerows help create new habitats for wildlife, but they also help in our response to tackling the challenges of climate change by increasing the levels of carbon stored across our estates."

In addition to this over 20,000 saplings have so far been applied for through the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) funded Jubilee Trees for Norfolk scheme. The scheme is open to everyone and there is still opportunity to apply for tree packs via the Council's website. Applications close in early January with all the trees being delivered during this planting season.

A partnership with Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Claylands Wilder Connections project, whereby Norfolk County Council has part funded tree and hedge planting across the South Norfolk Claylands area, will add a further 10,000 to the total. This will take the total trees planted over the 150,000 milestone and with more potential planting projects in the pipeline, it is hoped the project be near to the 200,000 milestone by the end of the planting season in March 2023.

The Council has also recently been awarded £148,225 as part of the Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund. This will be spent on investing in new staff to accelerate the progress of the 1 Million Trees project.

Norfolk residents can now be part of the 1 Million Trees for Norfolk journey with a new planting progress map which plots all trees and hedges planted by parish as part of the scheme since November 2019. Anyone in Norfolk can add their planting to this map by filling in the 'Tell us where you've planted' survey form. This will help the Council monitor where there are the highest opportunities for planting in the future, as well as giving communities and parishes to the opportunity to celebrate their collective efforts. The data will be updated monthly which will let the public see their efforts contributing to Norfolk's green canopy.

To find out more about the 1 Million Trees for Norfolk project and the resources and schemes available, visit our 1 Million Trees for Norfolk webpages.

Last modified: 25 June 2024 15:52

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