Richmond upon Thames

Richmond Council prioritise tree planting as part of climate strategy

Richmond Council is working on an extensive programme of tree replacement planting across the borough, identifying historic locations where trees have been removed.

The work is part of the council’s commitment to increasing tree cover in Richmond upon Thames as part of its Climate Emergency Strategy.

Following an extensive recent survey of trees across the borough by the council’s Parks team, several locations where trees have been removed over the past 10 years have been identified.

Trees were not replanted at these locations due to the need for highway repairs at the time.

Over 490 sites have been identified following the survey and the authority is now committing nearly £1m to allow for replanting and associated pavement repairs at these locations.

Richmond Council will complete these restoration works over the next three financial years, with 325 replacement trees being planted in the next tree planting season, starting in November 2021.

In total, this programme of work will result in the replanting of trees in 800 locations.

The council’s new tree planting initiative follows a significant effort over the 2020-21 season, in which the authority planted 570 trees, the largest number of trees planted in a single season for over 10 years.

Commenting, Chair of Richmond Council’s Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Services Committee, Councillor Julia Neden-Watts said:

“I am delighted that we are able to prioritise this extensive tree replanting programme as part of our climate emergency work.

“Sustainable tree planting forms an important part of Richmond Council’s Climate Emergency Strategy.

“At present, the borough is responsible for over 26,000 trees on our highways, in our cemeteries, parks and open spaces, and on council property.

“This significant new funding allocation will allow the council to maintain and add to the sites identified by the council’s survey as areas of opportunity for planting more trees.

“The tree maintenance programme can require the removal of certain trees if they are diseased or dying and pose a significant risk to the safety of the public.

“However, removal of trees is a last resort.

“This new planting programme will include replanting at sites where trees have been removed and where tree planting could mitigate the effects of climate change.”

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