PEOPLE in Cheshiere have been urged to stand up for their street trees and take part in a new “neighbourhood watch” scheme for nature.
The Woodland Trust is launching a scheme across the country to get people to celebrate their local trees – and help to protect and value nature on their doorstep.
People are urged to join forces with their neighbours and apply for one of 500 Street Trees Celebration Starter Kits. They will get bunting, badges and funky wheelie-bin transfers to show their appreciation for their trees.
Joseph Coles, project lead for Street Trees, said the scheme, which is funded by a £500,000 boost from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, aims to rally people to look after threatened trees on their doorstep. A recent report showed councils are felling more than 50 trees a day nationwide.
Mr Coles said: “Street trees face unprecedented threats. Be it climate change, tree disease, development or council budgets. However, they bring a huge array of benefits to people – from recreation to combating pollution. With 80 per cent of the UK’s people living in urban settlements, street trees are their main daily contact with nature. If we are to keep people connected with nature we need to preserve it on their doorsteps.
“Through the Street Trees project, thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we will connect people with the trees closest to them, offering them the tools and resources to both celebrate and protect them, while raising awareness at the highest levels that street trees are valuable and worth investing in and preserving.
“We need to encourage people to celebrate trees, whatever their drive might be – social cohesion, economic benefits, sentimental or simply because a tree looks nice. People need to demand that their trees are respected and protected”.
Clara Govier, head of charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said “Street trees provide so many benefits to the communities where they are found. We’re delighted our players are able to support the Street Trees project, encouraging communities to celebrate and protect the trees on their doorsteps”
The scheme comes off the back of a nationwide survey by the Woodland Trust which shows almost three quarters of city people want access to greenspace or parkland within walking distance from their home.
78 per cent believe that trees are essential for relaxing and making them feeling happier. A similar percentage cited their importance for health and removing air pollution.
To claim your Street Trees pack visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/streetrees
See full story in the Chester Leader