Councillors have agreed a plan to plant thousands of young trees in the city every year.
The ongoing tree planting programme is part of the council’s commitment to tackling the climate and biodiversity emergency and replace trees lost from ash dieback and elm disease.
We are also looking to identify more land for woodland which could significantly increase tree planting within the city.
More than £1 million investment for trees
Historic levels of investment are being put into the tree planting programme which is mainly funded from a £1 million grant from the council’s Carbon Neutral Fund.
Some of the investment has been in new staff. Before the new tree-planting team were in place the council only had resources to plant an average 80 trees a year.
In 2021/22, the council planted 425 trees and 2,530 young tree seedlings (known as whips).
Reducing biodiversity loss and tackling climate change
Councillor Steve Davis, co-chair of the Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee, said: “It is crucial that we do everything we can to maintain our tree population and reduce the biodiversity loss from losing trees which succumb to disease.
“Ash dieback is devastating our native ash trees and is driven by the climate crisis, with extreme changes in weather providing the perfect conditions for the fungus that causes it. That’s why we also have an ash dieback management plan alongside our tree planting plan to minimise the losses in Brighton & Hove as much as we can.
“Trees play an important role in filtering pollution and improving air quality. They also have a positive impact of mental health and wellbeing, making our streets and open spaces more pleasant places to be.
“As well as maintaining our tree stock we will actively look for land to create new woodland areas, such as the one on Carden Hill.”
Trees also help to prevent flooding by taking up water and provide much-needed shade in heatwaves, so more planting helps to prevent some of the impacts of climate change.
Find out more about how trees fight climate change on the Woodland Trust website.
Supporting the 2030 Carbon Neutral Programme
Brighton & Hove’s tree planting plan will support the 2030 Carbon Neutral Programme. It will enable planting of a variety of species with greater resilience to pests and disease, and work with residents on planting trees in local communities.
Councillors agreed the tree planting and ash dieback action plan at the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee on 21 June. Read the report (agenda item 10) and watch a recording of the meeting.