Appeal launched to plant 100,000 trees across South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park Trust has today (April 29) launched a new appeal so it can plant 100,000 trees.

Trees in South Downs National Park
Trees in South Downs National Park

The trust’s Trees for the Downs campaign, launched in November 2019, exceeded its £61,500 target, raising £175,000 in 18 months.

It has now increased the campaign target to £260,000 with the aim to plant some 100,000 trees – tens of thousands more than planned.

In a statement, chair of the trust Julie Fawcett said: “The response to Trees for the Downs has been overwhelming and far exceeded our expectations.

South Down National Park Harting Down, in West Sussex. Photograph: Sam Moore/ SDNPA

“I think it shows how much we love our trees.

“I’d like to thank each and every person, community group and business that has donated to this inspiring campaign – every penny counts and every tree planted will make a difference.

“Trees are just incredible for the environment – they provide a home to so much wildlife, provide oxygen, improve the soil, help fight climate change and, last but not least, are really beautiful to look at.

“Unfortunately, many wonderful trees have been lost from the landscape due to pests and diseases and that’s why we want to restore them.

Tree saplings planted at Lancing Ring as part of the Trees for the Downs campaign

“Trees for the Downs also goes hand in hand with the national park’s nature recovery drive – helping wildlife to flourish once again in our countryside, villages, towns and cities.

“We’ve significantly upped our target and would like to raise about another £85,000 to be able to plant a total of 100,000 trees for the campaign.”

The new trees, which will include black poplar, oak and field maple, will be planted in community spaces, along roads and walking routes in phases over the next four years.

The trust planted Some 10,000 of the 100,000 trees last winter at sites across Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex, including close to 4,000 trees in the Adur and Worthing area.

To donate to the campaign, see here

Applications are open for future rounds of planting, with the trust welcoming applications from landowners, farmers, parish and town councils. For more details, email [email protected]