First trees in scheme to plant one million in Norfolk go into ground

Trees have been planted at Rollesby

Norfolk County Council has planted the first of 1 million trees it aims to plant over five years. - Credit: Norfolk Farming & Wildlife Advisory Group

The first trees have gone into the ground in an ambitious scheme to plant one million in Norfolk over the next five years.

The planting in Norfolk County Council's One Million Trees for Norfolk drive coincided with National Tree Week.

Thousands of trees and hedge plants will be going into the ground as the first planting season in the five-year project gets underway.

The project grew from a motion brought to full council by Sandra Squire, Independent councillor for Marshland North, in November last year.

Independent Norfolk county councillor Sandra Squire. Pic: Norfolk Independent Group.

Norfolk Independent county councillor Sandra Squire - Credit: Norfolk Independent Group

The goal is for Norfolk to achieve a net gain of one million trees to help towards the county council’s wider ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Norfolk county councillor Andrew Grant. Pic: Norfolk Conservatives.

Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for environment and waste - Credit: Norfolk Conservatives

Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for environment and waste, said: "One Million Trees for Norfolk is a huge undertaking and one of many approaches we need to achieve our aim of becoming carbon neutral within 10 years.

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"By planting trees and hedges, we’re helping to tackle climate change by increasing carbon storage, as well as encouraging wildlife and contributing to the good quality of life we enjoy in Norfolk.

“We really want this to be a community effort too so in the spring we’ll be sharing detailed information about how everyone can get involved in the 2021/22 planting season, whether you’re planning to plant just a couple of trees or create a whole new woodland.”

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More than 6,300 tree and hedge plants are going in the ground at Bacton, Thorpe Market, and Rollesby on parts of the county council’s County Farms estate over the coming month.

Steve Morphew, leader of the opposition Labour group, said the tree planting scheme was a positive move.

But he questioned how such an ambition meshed with the council's desire to build the Western Link of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road.

He said: "We can’t seriously claim to be playing our part when proposing devastating ancient tree and habitat in the name of building a road.

"More than that the Western Link has alternatives and with changes in the way we travel post pandemic we should be encouraging those instead."

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