24,000 trees to help offset council's carbon footprint
14 July 2022
Plans have been approved to expand a community woodland in the Barnstaple area that will see 24,000 new trees planted.
North Devon Council purchased the land in 2020, specifically to help offset their carbon emissions and help them towards their corporate target to protect and enhance the environment and work towards becoming net zero by 2030. The new woodland will extend to 15.5 hectares expanding 2.5 hectares of existing mature woodland. The new site will also link three existing woodlands together aiding wildlife to move more easily between them.
Following the successful England Woodland Creation Offer application, that aims to help the government treble tree planting and woodland creation to at least 7,000ha in England by May 2024, planting of mainly native broadleaf trees with a smaller number of conifers is due to start this winter.
Lead Member for the Environment at North Devon Council, Cllr Netti Person says: "We are committed to doing everything we can to create a thriving natural environment which also locks in carbon. I am really pleased that we've taken this step towards offsetting our carbon footprint and look forward to supporting our Parks team in their efforts to reach our net zero goal.
"We estimate that by planting these trees, 3,500 tonnes of co2 will be removed from the atmosphere over the next 100 years. This equates to taking around 2000 cars off the road, which will be a significant achievement."
Forestry Commission’s Area Director for the South West, James Fry says: “We are very pleased to support this significant woodland creation scheme which has been created through our England Woodland Creation Offer and demonstrates the multiple benefits woodlands provide for people and the wider environment. The England Woodland Creation Offer grant recognises the scheme’s value in helping nature recovery by significantly expanding and connecting native woodland habitat, improving water quality and providing access to nature - all this while sucking up carbon to combat climate change.”
The community will be called upon to help with the planting of the trees later in the year.