RESIDENTS in five Cornish towns have been helping plant trees to increase green spaces and bring more nature into their communities.  

Together with Cornwall Council’s Forest for Cornwall team and Cormac, the volunteers have recently planted trees in urban areas in Newquay, Callington, Torpoint, Falmouth and Saltash. 

The planting follows a council consultation last autumn aimed at gathering views of tree-planting from residents living near some of the proposed planting locations.

More than 85 per cent of residents who responded were in favour of planting more urban trees in Cornwall to tackle the impacts of climate change.  The respondents also said they would welcome more urban trees in their local areas.

All the trees have been funded by the Forestry Commission’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund and will be counted towards the Forest for Cornwall aimed at increasing canopy cover across towns and villages throughout the region. 

A total of 470 trees will be planted in the five towns over the next two years as part of the project. Planting has already taken place in:

• Salt Mill Park, Saltash - 57 trees

• Sennen Close Park, Cambridge Field and other locations, Torpoint - 46 trees  

• Grenville Crescent, Godolphin Road, Grenville Road, Falmouth - 23 trees 

• Glamis, Chester and Hilgrove Roads, Newquay - 57 trees  

• Southern Road, Callington - 77 trees  

Councillor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s portfolio holder for environment and climate change, said: “This Urban Tree Challenge Fund is aimed at increasing the number of urban trees across the UK to help tackle the impacts of climate change, improve people’s health and wellbeing and provide a place for nature in built-up areas.

“Although some urban areas in Cornwall may seem green, many are a long way off the Forestry Commission’s suggested 20 per cent tree canopy cover target.” 

“With residents’ support we’ve selected areas with some of the lowest urban tree cover where trees will be most beneficial. We’ve had a fantastic response from communities helping with the planting, asking for more trees and also signing up to be Tree Guardians, to help young trees thrive in their important early years. 

The first year’s planting for the Urban Tree Challenge Fund has also been completed in time for the first day of spring.”

Tree Guardians will take on the responsibility of watering trees using rainwater or waste water if possible in the morning or evening and daily during dry spells. Weeding trees by clearing grass from around the base of the tree/in the cage during the growing season and checking if the tree is healthy.

The Forest for Cornwall is aimed at increasing tree-planting across Cornwall with the support of residents, businesses, town and parish councils, farmers, schools and community organisations. As well as helping to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies the programme is giving more communities access to the benefits of nature on their doorsteps.”

The Forest for Cornwall team drew up the plans for the Urban Tree Challenge Fund following the Forestry Commission’s ‘right tree, right place principle’ which means trees are selected to suit the locations where they are planted.