[Source: Suffolk County Council]

Suffolk County Council has planted 198,547 trees across Suffolk in just the last two years (at an average of 272 per day).

Much of this was possible thanks to £400,000 of the council’s own Suffolk 2020 Fund, to protect and encourage biodiversity in the county.

In one year, 198,547 average adult trees could absorb the equivalent CO2 emitted by:

  • 8,845,898 miles travelled in a typical petrol car
  • 903 typical household gas boilers running for a year
  • 199 Suffolk residents each year.

The planting includes 12 miles of new mixed native species hedgerows across 15 county farm holdings, delivering new wildlife habitat, ecological corridors and enhanced landscapes.

The council worked with many partners to make the tree planting a success, including The Woodland Trust, Suffolk Tree Warden Network, county farm tenants, landowners, local authorities and communities, and contractor Giles Landscapes.

Councillor Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for Environment and Public Protection, said:

“This amazing achievement would not have been possible without all the partners we work with, to whom I’m grateful for getting these trees in the ground. From the support of our exceptional Suffolk Tree Warden Network volunteers, through to the children at local schools, we really have put Suffolk on the UK map for tree planting.

“Once the healing wood is completed at Howard Community Academy later this year, we will have surpassed our target of 200,000 trees for Suffolk.

“New trees will help protect and enhance biodiversity in our environment, which is crucial. They will provide habitats and havens for wildlife, supporting the delicate and special ecosystems we have in Suffolk. We will continue to explore ways of planting even more.”

“Of course more trees will absorb more CO2 from the atmosphere, and contribute to slowing the increasing rate of climate change. But that is not enough on its own in our ambition for a Net Zero Suffolk by 2030, and as a council we are committed to using less energy and cutting our own carbon emissions.”

Helen Bynum, Tree Warden and member of the Suffolk Tree Warden Network (STWN) executive committee, said:

“STWN is very proud to be partnering SCC and the Woodland Trust in getting trees into the ground. We have taken the ambition for a Net Zero Suffolk to heart by growing our own trees, reducing the carbon footprint of plantings and making the most of parent trees well adapted to the varied environmental conditions throughout the county.

“While some Tree Wardens were already sowing seeds collected from healthy local trees, a wonderful funding boost from the SCC’s 2020 fund has enabled the creation of a series of Community Tree Nurseries across Suffolk.

“The STWN tree nurseries currently range from avid growers working in their back gardens, to schools and larger-scale projects. For example, the Red Gables Wellbeing Hub in Stowmarket allows those with special needs to get involved, and the 2 Fields Community Supported Farm in Debenham enables those without their own space to contribute. The Eye Scout Hut nursery is due to come online this year.

“Growing as well as planting trees gives individuals the chance to engage directly in efforts to reduce emissions, combat climate change, counter biodiversity loss and make the most of the trees we already cherish. It helps people and the planet.”

All the trees have been registered as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, and contribute to the continuing Suffolk-wide ambition of Creating the Greenest County.