Street trees which are considered the ‘lungs of the city’ can now be saved from felling thanks to a new charter in Lincoln.
The Tree Charter, which is promoted by the Woodland Trust, has been supported by the City of Lincoln Council and will help preserve vital greenery and plant new saplings across the city.
The Woodland Trust, which worked with Transition Lincoln to stop a tree on the High Street being chopped down recently, hopes the charter will help save other trees. The saved tree is now under the trust’s protection after the council backed down.
Dee Smith, from the Woodland Trust, said: “The local group who ran the campaign to save the tree in the city
centre was Transition Lincoln – one of our most active Charter Branches. Transition Lincoln, like many Transition Town Groups lead a range of activities in the build up to the campaign.”
“On the back of the campaign led by Transition Lincoln we were able to secure a meeting with the council last year. Following this the Council, at a meeting of its Executive in early January, agreed to formally support the Tree Charter. To mark this, the Council have invited representatives from the Woodland Trust to plant trees at one of their major parks, Boultham Park in early February.
“This will be the start of a relationship with the Council – including supporting the development of a tree strategy – to include plans for improving canopy cover in the city. So a positive result all round.”
The trees that are need of protection are often those who are proposed for removal to make way for development, which could instead be retained within the new development. There is also the risk that trees could be damaged from other activity such as demolition of nearby buildings, events, traffic or heavy equipment threatening to damage roots by compacting the ground.
The Woodland Trust are the lead campaigners for the protection of trees in the UK, with over 500,000 supporters across the country. The trust was launched to help residents who are concerned about questionable evidence of tree health, therefore the trust offers guidance on seeking alternative opinions or how to get recognition from the council about the issue they have found.
Mrs Smith said; “Street trees are at the heart of our community, adding character to our streets, they join us on our daily commute and provide a host of benefits for people, wildlife and our urban environment.”
“They improve urban air quality, bring colour, shade and shelter and provide a home for wildlife.”
The street tree campaigns are designed to inform, empower and encourage local people to take action themselves to protect the environment.
The trust relies heavily on volunteers with approximately 2600 people volunteering for the trust, carrying out a wide range of roles. With the main roles being to spot threatened woods that needs the trusts help and spread the word about the value of woods and trees.
Dee Smith said: “It is so easy to help the trust, even just planting a tree does so much for the environment.”
The Woodland Trust every year gives away millions of free trees to schools and community groups each year, and have subsidised planting schemes for landowners and farmers.
Dee Smith also stated: “And for those who don’t have room to plant a tree they can dedicate them instead. We have a number of options from single tress to whole areas of woodland. People do this to commemorate special occasions like a new baby, a birthday, Father’s Day, or the death of a loved one. We also have married couples who ask guests not to buy them gifts but to dedicate trees instead.”
Visit The Woodland Trust website for more information.