Urban forestry project underway

WORK continues on the council’s ambitious plan to be carbon neutral by 2030 with an important environmental survey of the trees in and around Bexhill currently underway.

The results from the survey will serve as a strategic framework for future tree management and tree planting in the area.

The project aims to establish what benefits the diversity of trees provide to the community, from the carbon they store to the pollutants they remove from the air.

300 plots have been chosen at random across Bexhill and the surrounding countryside including the Combe Valley Countryside Park, which will be surveyed by volunteers from local environmental groups.

To help support the survey, residents are being asked to allow access where a tree survey plot falls on private property.

In a further boost to the council’s environmental plans, the town is set to benefit from a tree planting project which will see 55,000 trees planted in seven coastal towns and cities including Bexhill.

The Trees for Cities project will focus on increasing tree cover through community tree planting events designed to revitalise forgotten coastal urban areas.

Councillor Susan Prochak, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Environment and Place at Rother District Council, said: “Trees and woodlands are essential for healthy living. The tree survey will provide vital information to enable us to increase the tree canopy cover in Bexhill in the future, as well as raising awareness amongst residents of the importance and value of our trees.

“Whilst the rural Rother district enjoys significant tree coverage, there is less tree canopy cover in Bexhill. I am delighted the town has been included in the Trees for Cities urban greening project which will provide residents with environmental benefits for many years to come.”

Rother District Council declared a climate emergency in September 2019 and pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030. The council’s Environment Strategy 2020-2030 was adopted in September last year.

Cllr Prochak continues: “We know we set ourselves an ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2030.  

“We have started to make changes that will contribute to this including changes to buildings, such as the addition of solar panels, new energy efficient windows and roofs, the use of a 100% renewable energy supplier for our electricity and a gas supplier with offset certificates.

“Whilst we still have a long way to go, the tree survey and the Trees for Cities project are important steps forward as we continue to progress towards our goal.”

More information on the council’s Environment Strategy can be found at https://www.rother.gov.uk/strategies-policies-and-plans/environment-strategy/

Published: 17th August 2021