Eastleigh Borough Council is celebrating National Tree Week by planting a tree for every one of its employees, as part of its goal to reach 160,000 more trees in the Borough by 2030. Over 540 trees will be planted at various locations in the Borough from 28 November to 6 December.
Around 160 trees will be planted at Itchen Valley Country park, with other planting locations including Lakeside Country Park, the Old Golf Course at Fleming Park and the Hamble and Hiltingbury areas.
A mix of trees including silver birch, cherry blossom and field maple have been selected for their benefit to native wildlife and visual interest – with different species blossoming at different times of the year.
Trees have many environmental, wildlife and human benefits – from absorbing excess carbon dioxide to providing mental health benefits. The Council wants to dramatically scale up the number of trees in the Borough as part of its commitment to tackling the climate and environmental emergency.
To that end, the Council has set up a new Council-run tree nursery in Horton Heath. This will help to supply the trees it needs to meet its goal of having 160,000 more trees in the Borough by 2030. The new tree nursery is also providing young people with employment opportunities, with three new apprentices employed to help operate the site and learn new skills.
Council Leader, Councillor Keith House, said: “It’s wonderful that we are taking this first step on our ambitious tree planting journey. When the pandemic allows, we want to involve everyone in this exciting initiative, from local community groups to businesses, but for now, we are starting by planting one tree for every Eastleigh Borough Council employee. Following this, our tree nursery will help ensure we have the supply for now and into the future."
Cabinet Lead for Environment, Councillor Rupert Kyrle, said: “During the pandemic, many people have discovered the benefits of being out in nature to improve their mood and mental health. By planting more trees in the borough, we can not only help to tackle the climate crisis and support local wildlife, but also create the legacy of a greener, leafier borough for our residents, their families and future generations.”