As we recently announced, as part of the Rother Tree Champions initiative we’re working with our partners the Woodland Trust, High Weald AONB, Friends of Combe Valley, Dallington Forest Project, and Bexhill Environmental Group to run a new monthly webinar series working towards building a community caring for the Rother treescape.

We held our inaugural event on Tuesday 2nd March, which was led by Danni Hill, Urban Forest Consultant (BSc, PGCE, FRGS), from Treeconomics; an organisation which works internationally with community groups, research organisations, public bodies, municipalities, and private business to complete projects which highlight the value of trees. You can view their projects to date on the Treeconomics projects page

Attended by 47 participants, the webinar explored sustainable management of the urban forest, and the huge number of benefits trees provide to urban environments. You can learn more about these numerous benefits though Treeconomics’ fantastic infographic.

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The session also introduced the upcoming Bexhill i-Tree study and a tree planting strategy that will provide a framework for future tree management within the district. This will be a 1-year project commencing soon with a range of partners and supported internally by Environmental Health, Neighbourhood Services, and Planning. It will inform the Local Plan review. More information about the project is to follow soon.

The Woodland Trust’s Bridget Fox chaired the inaugural event, and shared her enthusiasm for the project:

It was a pleasure to chair the first Rother Tree Hour on behalf of the Woodland Trust, and hear how to map and share information on the area’s tree cover. Trees and woodland are vital allies in response to the nature and climate crises. It’s great to see people and groups from across Rother coming together to celebrate trees and woodland and share ideas on how we can work better to protect and extend them in future.

Rother Green Councillor Polly Gray, a member of the Rother Climate Change Steering Group who has been involved in planting and maintaining hundreds of trees as an active member of Bexhill Environmental Group, said:

“The importance of trees in our environment is undisputed, especially in these critical times of climate emergency. It is wonderful to see an effort to bring the Rother Tree Champions community together, to learn and exchange knowledge about trees.”

If you missed the live webinar, you’ll be able to watch this session as well as every event in the series on our Rother District Council YouTube channel.

Watch our March Tree Hour Webinar, “Sustainable Management of the Urban Forest”.

You can view the responses to all the questions we weren’t able to address during the webinar here.

Tree Hour webinars are part of a programme of activities planned this year for the community of Rother tree enthusiasts and tree champions. It takes place every first Tuesday of the month. The next tree hour webinar will take place on 6th April 3-4pm. You can learn more and register here.

Are you interested in presenting at our next Rother Tree Hour webinar?

Please get in touch by emailing Environment.Strategy@rother.gov.uk