Town Tree Fund Seeking Sites for Re-Forestation

The re-forestation of the town centre starts with Castle Street

Last year Bridgwater Town Council set up a ‘Tree Fund’ to encourage the blossoming of the town and to help to tackle climate change and to promote biodiversity. The more biodiverse an area is the healthier an areas wildlife ecosystem is. Climate warming is due to an overload of carbon and other human activity gases into the atmosphere. Trees take in the carbon and capture it and lock it into its roots, branches, shoots, and leaves. Then the tree gives us back our clean air we breathe. The tree root structure locks soils and mud into place which helps prevent flooding. Town council’s outgoing  In December 2020 the first trees planted with the help of the tree fund went up in Hamp Green Rise and are now in Spring bloom. This week has seen another development, residents taking it upon themselves to re-forest as can be witnessed with the new initiative of Town’s tree expert Roy Cheek who has overseen the establishment of a new tree lined avenue in Bridgwater’s historic Castle Street.

Cllr Kathy Pearce talks to camera-shy environmentalist Roy Cheek

Roy was the man responsible for the Town’s ‘Treeflet’ which came out in autumn 2020 and as the trees come back into bloom people can follow the trail around town with this interesting little booklet available from the Town Hall or from the Sweetbox on the Cornhill. Roy said “The Seed the Day event in Bridgwater  brought together enthusiastic p0eple from different backgrounds linked to the environment and it seeded many ideas . One of these was a town tree trail which linked the historic buildings and sites with the trees nearby .In creating it other people became involved and significant areas without planting were noticed . Castle Street is one of the most complete historical and beautiful streets in England and the group of friends who want to enhance Bridgwater decided to improve it by having containers of the period planted with plant species that were around in 1720 . As far as we know this link is unique and we hope that resident of our town and visitors approve . We would love feedback because we Friends for Enhancing Bridgwater have other plant linked projects in mind .”

Now the Town Council is urging ward councillors to talk to their residents to identify new sites where we can put trees. Residents need to agree to water the trees for the first year or so and then Clean Surroundings will take on the job once the trees are established. If you have an idea for an area which badly needs trees contact your local councillor.

Cllr Kathy Pearce on Castle Street before the trees came back

Cllr Kathy Pearce says This initiative is crucial as tree cover in Bridgwater is only 7%, which is way below National and European averages. Bridgwater Town Council is committed to improving the environment and set up a Tree Fund to support tree planting on public open spaces. There is no “one size fits all” approach and there will be different solutions for each situation.  We are therefore looking for groups of people or individuals who are interested in additional tree planting on public green spaces in their local area. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment for any planting within their street or locality along with an agreement to maintain any new planting for at least two years to ensure that the trees survive and thrive. I hope that this will get everyone thinking about how they can make their own spaces greener and better.  Not everyone has room for a tree but even a window box or a few plants can make a difference.  It’s already started with the residents of Castle Street.  Wouldn’t it be great if a ‘green revolution’ spread across the town?”

To find your ward councillor click here. For more information about the Tree Project contact Climate Emergency Portfolio Holder Cllr Kathy Pearce  at cllrpearce@bridgwater-tc.gov.uk.

Find your ward, pick a tree, choose a location

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