A pledge to double tree cover across Daventry District over the next ten years has been agreed by councillors as part of efforts to tackle climate change.
Daventry District Council’s new Tree Policy recognises the important role that trees have in enhancing the environment and improving wellbeing, and sets out nine key commitments on tree planting and management.
It includes pledges to support and encourage planting by community groups and private landowners, as well as to influence developers to create large tree coverings on any new developments where possible.
DDC has also committed to replacing any tree it has to remove due to disease or for safety, and to explore the potential to enhance underused Council land by planting additional trees.
The Council will also aim to ensure the tree policy is adopted by the new West Northamptonshire unitary authority, which is due to take over from DDC on 1 April next year.
According to the Woodland Trust, one hectare of young woodland with mixed native species can lock in more than 400 tonnes of carbon, with the national Committee on Climate Change recommending the UK’s woodland cover is increased from 13% to 19% to help achieve the Government’s target of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Mapping data from the Forestry Commission shows the tree cover in Daventry District is currently around 5%, a percentage which councillors would like to see double in the next decade.
The Tree Policy was agreed by Daventry District councillors at the meeting of Full Council on 23 July and follows the authority’s decision in February to declare a climate emergency.
As well as declaring the emergency, councillors also agreed 20 environmental aims and improvements to tackle it. They include the Action on Climate Change campaign which aims to show people how they can make simple changes to reduce their carbon footprint.
Councillor Jo Gilford, Environment Portfolio Holder on Daventry District Council, said: “This Council has had a longstanding commitment to protecting and enhancing the environment, and the decision to declare a climate emergency further strengthens this.
“Trees play an important role in enhancing the environment and combatting climate change by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. They also contribute to biodiversity and health and wellbeing by providing attractive green spaces.
“By introducing this Tree Policy before the introduction of the new West Northamptonshire Council as well as committing to doubling tree cover in the District by 2030, we are helping to create a positive legacy for residents while playing an important role in the national effort to combat climate change.”
Find out more about the climate emergency and DDC’s Action on Climate Change campaign