Eastbourne environmental group awarded £400,000 to plant 1,000 trees in the town

An environmental group in Eastbourne has been awarded a grant of more than £400,000 to plant 1,000 trees in the town.

Treebourne has been given £418,000 by the Urban Tree Challenge Fund for its ‘greening Eastbourne’s streets’ project as they aim to plant 1,000 saplings over the next two years.

Encouraging community involvement was part of the group’s successful bid and Treebourne is inviting people to suggest where the trees will be planted.

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The group will also launch a ‘tree champions’ scheme giving volunteers the chance to look after the saplings as they grow.

Treebourne volunteers at Sevenoaks Recreation Ground in the winter of 2020. Picture from Treebourne SUS-210211-121710001

Treebourne co-leader Adam Rose said, “This is a phenomenal opportunity.

“Our aim is to grow a green legacy in Eastbourne and this money will help to transform communities.

“Trees bring so much benefit to our communities – not just capturing carbon and reducing CO2 emissions but also encouraging wildlife in the heart of our urban areas. They are also good for our mental health.

“Eastbourne and the surrounding area has lost so many elm and ash trees to disease in recent years and so to be able to increase the number of trees beside or close to our streets will be fantastic.”

Eastbourne Borough Council has been supporting Treebourne’s work and has welcomed the successful bid.

Jonathan Dow, the council’s lead member for climate change, said, “We are delighted to be supporting Treebourne in this fantastic initiative to plant 1,000 trees across the borough.

“I am hugely grateful to the Forestry Commission’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund for awarding the funding to Eastbourne.

“Support for this project is yet another example of the council’s commitment to tackling the climate emergency and helping the town become carbon neutral by 2030.

“The benefits to residents in terms of the environment and improved health and wellbeing of local people that this scheme will bring cannot be overstated.

“We would encourage as many residents as possible to get involved in the project as it progresses.”

The location of the new trees will be decided in the coming weeks, according to a Treebourne spokesperson.

The spokesperson added, “Most of the 1,000 trees to be planted will be sited in the east of the town, where existing tree cover is lower.

“The trees will be planted by contractors with half going in this winter.”

Treebourne will release details of how local communities can bid to have trees planted in their streets in the coming weeks as it launches its ‘tree champions’ scheme.

The ‘street trees’ project is one of several organised by Treebourne as part of its pledge to plant 100,000 trees over the next decade.

Last winter, volunteers planted more than 14,000 saplings in Sevenoaks Recreation Ground and Tugwell Park.

Other projects will see trees planted on private and public sites across the town including on church land, school fields and on the Downs.