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New Trees Bring Colour to Kingsbridge Parks

14 April 2022

Cllrs and staff gather around a newly planted tree in Duncombe Park, Kingsbridge

Across the South Hams, over 200 trees have been recently planted with 12 of the trees planted on Thursday 14 April by councillors from South Hams District and Kingsbridge Town Councils at Duncombe Park in Kingsbridge. 

This has been made possible through part-funding by the Forestry Commission's Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF), together with match funding and project management from South Hams District Council and grant funding from Kingsbridge Town Council. 

The planting focuses on standard trees (larger size trees usually about four metres in height when planted). These include 'wildlife' trees that will be full of flower and berries and as such support a wide range of biodiversity, as well as traditional parkland trees of stature that will last generations, while other species are chosen to bring colour to our parks throughout the seasons. 

Each tree has been carefully chosen with the 'right tree, right place' ethos in mind.

The design of the tree planting in the District will strengthen existing tree lines, create new avenues, or add new interest to green spaces, which currently have limited or no trees and it is expected that it will improve the space for wildlife and local residents. 

The positivity received from local residents during planting days so far across the South Hams has been overwhelming, with everyone excited to see the trees establish over the next few years.

A further 300 trees will be planted on sites around South Hams towns in the next planting season this winter. 

In Kingsbridge, as well as planting in Duncombe Park and the Recreation Ground, the Town Council are also bringing forward a scheme of striking new street planters for the high street. The planters will include 10 Silver Birch 'Snow Queen' trees planted through this tree funding to add year round interest through their striking white bark, for the enjoyment of visitors and residents.

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: "We are delighted to work in partnership with Kingsbridge Town Council and the Urban Tree Challenge Fund to plant many more trees in Kingsbridge and the South Hams. 

"Over the next year we will be planting around 120 new large trees from this fund in Kingsbridge which will greatly enhance the parks of this beautiful town. By this time next year, we will have planted 600 trees through this Urban Tree Challenge Fund alone, one of the tree schemes we are using to deliver our tree planting objectives in the District. 

"The benefit of planting more trees is numerous; along with improving our air quality and offering a place for shade and shelter, they also provide us with a space to relax. They make us physically and mentally healthier, while also providing crucial habitats for our wildlife. 

"Overall they are hugely positive additions to our landscape and these larger trees have an immediate impact, with the blossom on the wild cherry and crab apple in particular already looking striking at this time of year."

The District Council continues to show its dedication to achieving its Climate Change and Biodiversity targets, working hand in hand with its partners and the community towards a net-zero South Hams.

Kingsbridge Town Council's, Cllr Graham Price, said: "Kingsbridge Town Council was delighted to support the successful bid to the Urban Tree Challenge Fund with South District Council. Greening-up our environment and tackling climate change has been our ambition for many years. We continue to build on our RHS Britain in Bloom successes for the town, which recognises exceptional environmental responsibility."

Over recent years, we have lost many of our trees in the area. This initiative, with a wide range of species will significantly contribute towards reversing this reduction by encouraging more wildlife and capturing carbon pollution, which is so important." 

Keith Rennells, Director of ParkLife SW, said: ""This is a wonderful project, and ParkLife staff and volunteers are really enjoying planting these magnificent trees with our South Hams District Council colleagues. The planting projects have transformed the landscape in many of our parks and open spaces, with striking new avenues of specimen trees, and others that support and sustain our precious wildlife. 

"For those who join in with the planting, there are many reasons to get involved. As well as being part of something that is making a difference in terms of biodiversity enhancement and climate change mitigation, there are enormous health and wellbeing benefits from being physically active, with like-minded people, in the great outdoors." 

  • If you are interested in joining in with tree planting projects, please email parklifesw@gmail.com or message ParkLife through their Facebook page. 
  • To find out more about the Devon Local Nature Partnership and to get involved, go to: www.devonlnp.org.uk

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