New funding available for tree planting in the Chichester District

Chichester District Council has launched a new grant scheme to help people plant trees and hedgerows in priority areas across the Chichester District with the aim of improving connectivity between woodland habitats.
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Through this new targeted tree scheme, landowners can access funding to help plant trees, hedgerows, small-wooded areas (copses) and orchards in specific areas of the district where tree-planting interventions could help increase links between habitats and help our environment adapt to the changing climate. People can find out more information about the scheme and check whether they are eligible for a grant at: www.chichester.gov.uk/treescheme

The new initiative is delivered through the council’s ‘Tree Chichester District’ scheme, which has seen nearly 25,000 trees planted across the district through 175 individual projects since its launch in 2021. The scheme is funded by the government’s Shared Outcomes Fund and is part of the Trees Outside Woodland programme, which seeks to test new ways to boost tree numbers and tree health outside of woodland areas across the country.

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“We’re very lucky to be blessed with a large amount of woodland in our district, however quite a big proportion of this is currently fragmented,” explains Councillor Jonathan Brown, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environmental Strategy at Chichester District Council. “Our new targeted scheme seeks to better connect our woodland areas through the planting of new trees and hedgerows that will allow different species to move and migrate for food and to breed.

Tree Chichester District scheme logoTree Chichester District scheme logo
Tree Chichester District scheme logo

“As part of the scheme, we have created an interactive map which outlines the areas of the district that have been marked as ‘priority areas’ — these are spaces within which we have identified that new trees and hedgerows will make a real difference in terms of connecting woodland habitats, providing wildlife corridors for a number of different species.

“The map is a quick and easy way for people to check whether their land falls within one of these priority areas and, if so, we’d encourage them to apply for a grant by emailing our Tree Project Officer at: [email protected]. Our officer will then be able to discuss ideas and options, and offer advice on tree planting and protection.

“If you are not eligible for this particular scheme but are still interested in progressing a tree planting project — whether it’s a community initiative or on private land — there are other schemes and funding sources that you may be able to access. Please contact our team for advice by emailing [email protected] or calling 01243 521161.

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“Planting new trees benefits our district in so many ways, from improving biodiversity and boosting carbon storage, to enhancing the natural beauty of our local landscape for everybody to enjoy. Since launching the Tree Chichester District scheme in January 2021, we have allocated free and subsidised trees to residents, community groups, schools, parish councils, charities, businesses, landowners, and tenant farmers. We’ve also awarded grant funding to support the development of seven community orchards in Selsey, Chichester, Fishbourne and Goodwood; deliver two community tree nurseries in West Wittering and Selsey; and plant five new mini urban forests in Hambrook, East Broyle, Summersdale, East Beach Walk and Midhurst.”

In September 2023, the council’s Tree Chichester District scheme benefited from a £120,000 funding boost from the government’s Shared Outcomes Fund. This fund is being used to extend the nationwide Trees Outside Woodland programme, which is delivered in partnership with Defra — Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs — along with The Tree Council, Natural England, and five local authorities, including Chichester District Council.

Jonathan adds: “Our share of this £2m funding pot is enabling us to build on the already successful work of the Tree Chichester District scheme, helping us to further explore the best ways to increase tree planting within our communities. In addition to the targeted tree scheme, we are supporting The Orchard Project — a national charity — that is conducting a research study to identify what makes a community orchard successful. This work aims to increase the success rate of similar projects in communities across the country in years to come.”

The Tree Chichester District scheme is an integral part of the council’s Climate Emergency Action Plan. From launching a ground-breaking project that aims to safeguard and enhance strategic wildlife corridors, to introducing comprehensive carbon literacy training for councillors and staff to help them better address climate change within the council’s work, the Climate Emergency Action Plan sets out over 60 actions aimed at reducing the council’s carbon footprint and to encourage residents, businesses and organisations to join its approach.

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For more information about the work the council is doing to help combat climate change, visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/climatechange. On this page, residents can also find out how they can access grant funding to improve the energy efficiency of their home while helping the environment.

People can find more information about the Tree Chichester District scheme, at: www.chichester.gov.uk/treescheme