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National Tree Week

The Trees For Congleton Group is celebrating National Tree Week from 26 November to 5 December by launching its 2022-23 planting season.

The volunteer Group, part of Congleton Sustainability Group, has been planting trees, shrubs and hedges for the last three years to help meet its target of 30,000 by 2025, and has already passed the halfway-mark, with over 15,000 planted.

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, in which the country’s conservation sector and volunteers come together to celebrate, plant and look after trees.

An initial nine Congleton sites have been identified for potential planting in 2022-23, using funding from the Tree Council. These are at Back Lane, Hertford Close, Lambert’s Lane Water Tower, Pirie Road, Quayside / St Peters Rd, Quinta Park, Havannah Lane – St Johns Rd, Solly Crescent and Thirlmere Court.

The group will put consultation leaflets through the doors of people living next to the sites, with 3 weeks to reply. In addition, this year anyone can join in the consultation on the website at: www.treesforcongleton.co.uk, with the views of the nearest residents being prioritised. Any changes to the plans as a result of the consultation will be on the website.

The group is running a programme of aftercare and planting tasks on sites planted in previous seasons, as well as looking for more community and business involvement in the programme.

Group leader Ruth Benson explains: “We would really like to recruit ‘Friends’ of sites from the local area, who will keep an eye on young plants and help with maintenance and watering. There are also lots of opportunities for new volunteers to come and help with planting, and we are launching a new ‘Trees for Business’ initative working with Rotary Congleton.”

Trees and shrubs planted by the Group so far are all native species such as oak, birch, hazel, willow, holly, lime, wild cherry, elder, alder, beech and crab apple as well as around 100 rare native black poplars.

Last spring the Group planted 70 cherry trees as part of a national celebration of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.

Congleton Town Council supports the initiative as part of its Climate Emergency work, including helping to prepare the ground and ongoing maintenance of the sites.

Town Mayor Cllr Margaret Gartside declared the Climate Emergency as the most important priority of her tenure, and has been a member of Trees for Congleton from the outset.

Cllr Kay Wesley, Chair of the Community & Environment Committee of the Town Council, thanked the Group, saying: “The work of the Tree Group has been fantastic. Week after week, whatever the weather, volunteers of all ages turn out and transform their local area with beautiful trees, hedges and shrubs. I encourage everyone to join in, and can testify that it is a lot of fun and very good exercise!”

Almost 70 sites around Congleton have been planted so far, and the Group estimates that in future the plants will capture around 100 tonnes of carbon per year.

To get involved or comment on the planting plans, the Group invites residents to get in touch. If you plant your own tree e.g. in the garden, the Group would like to hear about it and add it to the running total. Contact the Group via: www.treesforcongleton.co.uk, on Facebook look for Trees For Congleton, or email: treesforcongleton@gmail.com