Trees need more champions like these!

Earlier this month we hosted some of our new Councillor Tree Champions for an induction day with the Woodland Trust. We decided that as we work closely with a number of local authorities, it would be a great idea to have some ‘champions’ across the country, helping to speak up for better policies for trees, more tree planting and saving ancient woodland (to name but a few!).

champions-induction

It was a very successful day with excellent discussion around how the councillors could help. Ideas and discussion included:

  • Checking whether their council has a trees and woods strategy
  • Putting down a motion about trees and woods
  • Planting trees!
  • Letting people know about our free community and school tree packs
  • Finding out whether developers are felling trees before submitting planning applications
  • How to get trees and woods on the health agenda
  • Neighbourhood planning in relation to trees

…to name but a few. Do you have ideas on how else councillors can support a well-wooded country, enjoyed and valued by everyone? Please feel free to comment.

All in all it was a really inspiring day for us and great to get some enthusiastic and dedicated councillors helping us more across the country! Watch this space…

Ellie Henderson, Regional Policy Officer

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About Kaye Brennan

Senior Campaigner (Policy & Advocacy) for the Woodland Trust and Administrator, 'Woodland Matters' blog
This entry was posted in Climate Change, Government Affairs, Local Government and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Trees need more champions like these!

  1. Peter Kyte says:

    Unfortunately with local councillors they can very blinkered as far as environmental issues are concerned and tend to put financial infrastructure as their main thrust, seeing it as more worthy to the local electorate than trees. Trees wont vote for them, only vocal local opposition to tree cutting may cause pause for thought.

    • Ellie Henderson says:

      Hi Peter. I think we have some good ones here! Lets hope they can help us save ancient woodland and plant more trees (among other things!)

  2. Isabel Clark says:

    We do not have any Tree Champions in our Council in Coventry. They are tree destroyers. For years we have known them as tree killers. If they get any complaints about chopping down beautiful trees, they always seem to come back with, “They were diseased.” We saw some of those trees when they were standing and there seemed nothing wrong with them.

    Now they want to get rid of some 50 year old trees on Greyfriars Green in the City Centre, just to make some passage or road to the rail station or something. Why are they even contemplating something so pretentious in this financial climate?!!

    • Nick says:

      Hi Isabel,

      Thanks for your comment. It might be worth asking whether your council has a trees and woodland strategy. Many councils find these documents helpful in setting a policy context for management of trees. Some include a requirement for two (or even more) trees to be planted for every one removed.

  3. Derek West says:

    Ger some greens on your local council and we might get some action.

  4. Ash says:

    This is a great way to spread the word. However were only 10 councillors invited or were all invited & only 10 turned up? It’s a shame there weren’t more.

  5. Rwth Hunt says:

    Yes, developers are felling trees before submitting applications. The contractors fell trees to find room to erect their site offices in the face of main developer assurances to communities. There really isn’t much a tree champion can do if the Local Authority has strong enough developer and architectural influence among its number and councillors in their pockets.

    • Nick says:

      One role of councillor tree champions is to let us know about these situations so that we can act on them or advise local people how to do so. Councillors may also have speaking rights at planning committees and so can speak up for the protection of trees when planning applications are considered.

  6. Moray says:

    Hi

    Have all LA’s in Britain been approached to ask if they want have a tree champoin or whether they would be interested in having one? As good as this is, there are only 10 champions in the picture but a hell of a lot more Council’s in the UK. How do we go about finding more about this project to encourage our local Council to have a tree chanpion if they don’t already have one?

    • Nick says:

      Hi Moray,

      It is only a pilot project at present which we may roll out across the country if it is successful.

      nick

  7. Do you have a tree champion for Woking borough in Surrey?

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