THOUSANDS of new trees are to be planted in Eastbourne as part of a community-led programme that aims to double the town’s urban canopy and bring nature back into the streets.
Eastbourne Borough Council has declared a climate emergency and has set a target of 2030 for the town to be carbon neutral.
The Eastbourne ECO Action Network is a volunteer-run organisation, set up to work with the council towards achieving this goal.
Within the ECO Action Network, the Treebourne team are focused on getting trees planted, on both public and private land.
Treebourne have been searching for sites – large and small – to plant trees, raising the money to buy them, enlisting the volunteers needed to plant them, and will be running the planting projects.
The group plan to start with 11,000 trees at Sevenoaks Road Recreation Ground followed by a further 3000 at Tugwell Park in the New Year.
Councillor Jonathan Dow, Cabinet Member for Climate Change at Eastbourne Borough Council, said:
“By planting thousands of trees, we can not only help the battle against climate change, but also improve the quality of the natural environment for local residents.
“In Eastbourne, we’re tackling the scourge of Ash Dieback disease and Dutch Elm disease, so Treebourne’s work is absolutely vital.”
Fundraising for these projects has included support from the Trees for Cities charity and the government’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund, East Sussex County Council’s Building Stronger Communities Fund, as well as donations to the Treebourne crowdfunder campaign earlier this year. Local councillors in Langney, Hampden Park and St Anthony’s have also made contributions from their devolved budgets.
Adam Rose, Treebourne co-leader and a director of the ECO Action Network, said:
“At Sevenoaks Rec we’re creating a nature park for the community – with woodland areas, feature trees, wildlife habitats and wildflower meadows. There will be pathways through the woods and new seating.”
Treebourne co-leader Hazel Brent added: “Trees not only help to offset our carbon dioxide emissions, they have so many other benefits too. They’re a haven for wildlife and they absorb toxic pollution and improve air quality.”