Eastleigh Borough Council’s Cabinet approved the creation of a Council operated tree nursery as part of the Council’s commitment to planting 160,000 trees in the Borough by 2030 as part of its Climate and Environmental Emergency programme.
The 2.8 hectare tree nursery site, that will be located at One Horton Heath, will be able to produce to a sustainable supply of locally grown trees required to meet the Council’s commitment to plant 160,000 over the next ten years. Whilst the initial focus of the nursery will be on meeting the need for native broadleaf trees (as defined by the Woodland Trust), the nursery will also have the capacity to produce hedging plants, fruiting trees and cultivate mature trees for use in public spaces and housing development sites.
Cabinet also approved a Tree Sponsorship scheme for Businesses that will start this autumn ready for the autumn/winter planting season mainly focused on businesses and schools. Several businesses in the area are interested in partnering with the Council to plant trees as part of their environmental commitments.
A wider range of sponsorship schemes are also being considered in subsequent years that could include individual tree sponsorship of specimen trees and a ‘One Tree per Child’ scheme that will enable residents, schools and business employees to sponsor the purchase and planting of a sapling sized tree for a child. Other initiatives could include supporting school orchards, memorials, volunteering programmes and planting “Tiny Forests”. Several local community groups have already expressed an interest in being involved in these schemes.
Council Leader Keith House, “By creating our own tree nursery and tree planting programme we are providing the opportunity to grow native tree species locally from seed using our own staff. The benefits of planting trees in our borough are well known as they absorb carbon dioxide and store carbon in their wood together with reducing urban temperatures, preventing flooding, capturing pollution and supporting biodiversity.”
He added, “Our communities will also have the opportunity to get involved through an exciting range of sponsorship initiatives to allow businesses, schools and residents to plant trees in their community.”