A 10-year Tree Planting Strategy and associated planting plan 2021-2031 has been drafted in support of the Council’s declaration of a climate emergency. The planting plan will be developed in full consideration of ‘best practice’ principles, local management knowledge and required resource. This will ensure future tree planting undertaken by the Council is carried out in a sustainable and considered way.
[Councillor Goodheart arrived during this item]
Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Environmental Services & Strategy Manager introduced his report to the Committee. He explained this strategy was for Arun District Council’s (ADC) own parks and open spaces and did not extend to land beyond ADC’s control. He felt the proposal was a perfect balance between ambition and deliverability, and a huge amount of work had been put into the planning and development of the strategy and planting plan by the expert Tree Officer and the Parks Officers. The proposal was to plant 33,000 whips and 500 standard trees as a minimum. 90% of the standard trees would be native species, and the whip trees would be 100% native species. This would be phased over 10 years. The planting plans and species list would be published each year on the Council’s website for information. There would also be at least 2 community tree planting events each year.
Members then took part in a question and answer session as summarised below:
· Clarification was sought on the number of trees that would be planted each year, and whether a regular update would be provided to the Committee. The Environmental Services & Strategy Manager explained they were expecting to plant around 60 standard trees and 2,000-3,000 whips in the first year. It was expected to average approximately 50 standard trees and 3500 whips each year.
· Expectation of survival rates for the whips. The Environmental Services & Strategy Manager said there would be a proactive after-care programme for 3 years.
· The reason for non-native species being introduced. The Environmental Services & Strategy Manager explained there was a place for non-native trees, some of which may be the trees of the future.
· The reasons for established trees being removed. It was confirmed that established trees would only be removed for very good reason such as being dead or dying.
· It was noted that there was no tree planting planned for Pagham. This was due to Arun District Council not owning much open space in Pagham, so no opportunity to do so.
· Would there be an opportunity for community groups to work with ADC, and for ADC to procure trees on their behalf. The Environmental Services & Strategy Manager said there would be opportunities for community groups to get involved. A discussion would need to be had with any groups wishing to plant on Arun’s land, as this would need to fit with the Strategy. If Officers were in agreement with the proposals, they would be able to procure trees on behalf of community groups for this purpose.
· The Queens Canopy was a great opportunity to create a legacy for the residents, and it was asked that this be fully explained, and that community involvement be sought when building up the interpretation of what this would look like.
· Clarification was sought on the budget for the programme.
· Members were keen on the idea of tree-lined avenues, however noted this was under West Sussex County Council’s remit.
· Concern was raised over the large number of whips due to be planted in West Park. The Environmental Services & Strategy Manager reassured Members that the planting would be appropriate to the location and would not interfere with how the site was used on a daily basis.
· Members welcomed the report, and sent thanks to the Environmental Services & Strategy Manager and his team.
The recommendation was Proposed by Councillor Andy Cooper and Seconded by Councillor Huntley.
That the proposed Arun Greenspace Tree Planting Strategy 2021-2031 and associated planting plan be approved and adopted.