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Volunteers plant an urban woodland
Volunteers plant an urban woodland

Major new tree planting project gets underway

13 January 2017

Around 8,000 trees are set to be planted at different sites across Sheffield over the next few weeks, to create new “urban woodlands” for the city.

In partnership with the Trees for Cities organisation, 7,500 trees will be planted at three parks in the south-east of the city; at Kenninghall Bank, Fox Lane Recreation Ground and at Pipworth Recreation Ground.

Hundreds more trees – including more mature heavy standards – will also be planted across Sheffield as part of the council’s usual community forestry programme.

Trees being planted in the three parks will include a mix of native woodland species, including English Oak, Hazel, Field Maple, Spindle, Hawthorn and Blackthorn. The trees will be young “bare root whips”, two to three years in age, so they can grow with the community around them.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “These three new urban woodlands will bring diversity to the landscape, encourage wildlife and give residents in this part of the city even more opportunities to connect with nature.

“This is especially important at a time when we are increasingly cementing our reputation as the UK’s Outdoor City and demonstrating that Sheffield is a city where people can come to walk, jog, ride their bikes and enjoy family days out in an array of fabulous green spaces.

“I look forward to seeing these new woodlands grow and thrive, thanks to the hard work of volunteers and all those involved in this vital project.”

Different planting events will take place at each of these three sites – some with members of the local community and some with children from neighbouring schools.

Volunteers are invited to join planting events at Fox Lane on Saturday 21 January, between 10.30am and 12.30pm; and also at Kenninghall Bank on Wednesday 15 February between 10.30am and 2pm.

For the Fox Lane event, people should park and meet at Hollinsend Cricket Club Car Park, Fox Lane. For the Kenninghall Bank event, the meeting spot will be at the East Bank Road entrance to the site.

The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox, will be pulling on her gloves and wellies to take part in the public planting at Fox Lane.

Schoolchildren will also be involved in separate planting sessions at all three sites.

In addition to creating these new urban woodlands in conjunction with Trees for Cities, a number of heavy standard trees are also set to be planted at different sites across the city, with assistance from members of the community and from schools.

This is part of Sheffield City Council’s community forestry team’s usual annual tree planting activities, and will include the planting of a heavy standard oak tree in Stannington Park on Friday 27 January.

Tim Shortland, community forestry manager at Sheffield City Council, added: “Sheffield’s existing woodlands are renowned nationally, but many are in decline and despite being of great value to people and wildlife alike will not last forever.

“The establishment of new urban woodland will perpetuate this amazing woodland legacy for future generations and, in the shorter term, will provide a diversity of habitats for wildlife.

“These new woodlands will maintain the cities woodland legacy, increase biodiversity, clean the air and create new amenity opportunities. They will create the next generation of woodlands for future generations of Sheffielders to enjoy.”

David Elliott, chief executive of Trees for Cities, said: “We are delighted to be working with Sheffield City Council to plant over 7,500 new trees and create urban woodlands in three community parks.

“These projects will bring diversity to the landscape, enhance the wildlife and give residents opportunities to connect with nature. They will be an invaluable asset to the health and wellbeing of the local communities.”