Thousands of trees to be planted in South Downs campaign

Thousands of trees are being planted across West Sussex as part of the Trees for the Downs campaign, which has now raised almost £200,000 since being launched two years ago.

More than 11,000 trees will be planted across the South Downs National Park to help nature recovery and tackle climate change.

Thirty sites across Hampshire, West Sussex and East Sussex will be receiving new trees as part of the campaign, including Ditchling Recreation Ground.

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The first planting was held at the Goodwood Estate with the help of local school children.

Mrs Susan Pyper, HM Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, helps plant trees with children from The March Primary School.

This will become a new tree corridor as part of the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative for the jubilee next year. Chairman of the national park authority Ian Phillips joined the Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex Susan Pyper and the Duchess of Richmond and Gordon for a tree-planting ceremony at the Goodwood Estate. Mrs Pyper said: “This is just the beginning of an ambitious and impressive tree planting programme across the national park and, as both Lord-Lieutenant of West Sussex and president of the South Downs National Park Trust, I am delighted to be joined by the Duchess of Richmond here at Goodwood.”

The supply of new trees has only been made possible thanks to the incredible public response to the campaign, which launched at the end of 2019.

Mr Phillips said: “The South Downs National Park is, somewhat surprisingly, the most wooded of all of England’s National Parks and we recognise the important benefits that trees bring to the landscape, nature, the economy and people.

“This aims to plant 100,000 new trees in the South Downs over five years as an investment in a more sustainable future and we are well on the way to achieving this.”

To donate to Trees for the Downs, see www.southdownstrust.org.uk/trees-for-the-downs

Applications are open for future planting. Anyone interested should email [email protected]