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Woodlands Park Community Tree Planting Day

24 February 2022

Three older men and one woman pose in a line under a large tree while leaning on spades.

A community tree planting event is being made even more special with the planting of a tree to commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee by South Hams District Council's Chairman, Cllr Richard Foss, this Saturday 26 February from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

After South Hams District Council's recent planned improvement work, following a community survey late in 2020, things have been progressing well to make the area an even more inviting community space for people and wildlife.

Local residents were eager to see improvements and will already have seen some made at the park. This includes work on the wildlife pond area, including the pond dipping area. There have been new benches provided, and the play area will see additional equipment later this summer. The plan to plant new trees is well underway, with a day scheduled later in the spring for volunteers to get involved with tree planting too. 

Organised by ParkLife South West, Saturday's community event will include District Council Chairman, Cllr Richard Foss, planting a special tree. The tree will commemorate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee under the Queen's Green Canopy initiative. 

Ivybridge West Ward Members, Cllr Lance Austen and Cllr Louise Jones have funded the community tree-planting event, including the trees, materials and ParkLife support. This generous funding is taken from their District Council Climate Change and Biodiversity Locality Funds.

16 standard size trees will be among those planted; including an avenue of eight flowering cherries. These trees go some way to meeting Climate Change and Biodiversity aims for the District Council, along with health and wellbeing ones for the community.

South Hams District Council's Chairman, Cllr Richard Foss, said: "It's a privilege to plant a tree in honour of the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. This way we have a longstanding reminder of her service to the country.

"Our parks and public spaces are precious to our residents and planting trees in this way will play a small part in protecting them for future use and help the environment too. Anything we can do in the fight against climate change is definitely encouraged."

Cllr Lance Austen, South Hams District Council's Ward Councillor for Ivybridge West, said: "We're really looking forward to Saturday's community tree-planting day and we hope that people will come along and join in. We know that this is a great space for locals to enjoy. I'm pleased to use my Council Locality Fund to help add more trees to this space to make visiting the park more enjoyable for all its users."

Cllr Louise Jones, South Hams District Council's Ward Councillor for Ivybridge West, said: "Woodlands Park is a great space for people of all ages to come together. The recent improvements are beneficial for both wildlife and local people and the addition of these trees, planted by residents will only add to that appeal."

Ivybridge has also benefited from investment in other tree schemes recently. Funding through the Woodland Trust's Emergency Tree Fund (ETF), has seen the start of planting of 4,000 broadleaf whips (young trees) across the South Hams by the end of March. Ivybridge is set to gain hugely from the scheme. 

The ETF scheme is being carried out by a partnership of local councils, community groups and schools. Woodlands Park, along with Torr Park, is one of two Ivybridge sites owned by the District Council to be included in the scheme. Filham Park, owned by Ivybridge Town Council (ITC), is also included. 

SHDC, along with ITC and Wembury Parish Council, were among the first to take part in the initiative. The fund highlights how tree planting helps to address climate change, absorb carbon and support nature recovery.

For the ETF scheme, ParkLife South West will again be co-ordinating the work on the ground in partnership with Devon County Council. The not-for-profit social enterprise provides opportunities for individuals and groups to get involved with environmental projects in and around their local settings.

Keith Rennells from ParkLife South West, said: "This community event and Jubilee tree planting is above and beyond the bigger Emergency Tree Fund scheme that is seeing 4,000 trees planted at 14 sites in the South Hams, seven of which are in Ivybridge. It's the icing on the cake, so to speak, so come and get involved. Tools and refreshments are provided, but please bring your own spade and work gloves if you have them."

"If you're interested in joining in with a tree planting project, you can see where our latest projects are taking place and find out how to get involved through our Facebook page."

If you're interested in joining in with tree planting projects, please email parklifesw@gmail.com or message ParkLife through their Facebook page.

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