Forest for Peterborough, an exciting initiative to plant trees for residents…
Peterborough can be found neatly sandwiched between Lincolnshire, Northants and Cambridgeshire on the edge of the Fens about 80 miles north of London. As a city it has strong environmental credentials: in 1992 it was designated as one of the four Environment Cities in the UK and now has ambitions to call itself the UK’s “environment capital”.
Peterborough Environment City Trust (PECT) was formed around 20 years ago to take forward the environment city agenda and it has launched an ambitious tree planting programme, the Forest For Peterborough.
The plan is simple: over 20 years they want to plant over 170,000 trees, one for every person living in Peterborough. Or that was the figure when the Forest project was launched in 2010 but, as a result of the 2011 census, Peterborough’s population has now been estimated at 186,000. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.
The Forest project was launched in November 2010 and Woodland Trust President, Clive Anderson, spoke of his passion for trees at the launch event. The project is run by PECT working with the Peterborough Natural Networks Partnership, which includes a range of partners including Peterborough City Council, the Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission, Natural England, Wildlife Trusts, RSPB etc.
Things have got off to a great start. In the first year and a half of the project, almost 8,000 trees were planted by PECT and over 27,000 by other partners, which includes the Woodland Trust’s Diamond Wood at Burghley House. And it’s not just about tree planting. Heritage Lottery Fund are supporting some work in three small ancient woods n Peterborough to improve their biodiversity and access to the public.
There are similar projects going on in a few other places around the country. If it’s not already happening in your area, why not suggest to your Council that they plant a tree for every resident? Maybe find out the email address of your local councillor and speak to him/her about it. And do let us know how you get on.
Nick Sandford, Regional & Local Government Officer – North West & North East