A total of 8,000 trees will be planted at Ockwells Park near Maidenhead this winter – and residents are being encouraged to help at a family planting day.
The project is joint initiative between the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and its charity partner Groundwork South. It aims to increase biodiversity within the park, by creating new scrub and woodland habitats that combine to form a wildlife corridor that runs for almost 2km alongside the M4 motorway.
Once completed, it will bring the number of trees planted around the borough since 2019 to almost 20,000.
The latest planting will be part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, an initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee next year which invites people from across the UK to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’.
The trees are being planted to extend and connect the existing woodlands around Thrift Wood, the extension of Ockwells Park that was bought by the council in 2016 to provide additional green space for residents. The project is being managed by the borough’s Natural Environment team at Braywick Nature Centre.
Residents can lend the team a helping hand at the Family Tree Planting Day on Saturday 15 January. All are welcome to come along and plant trees any time between 11am and 3pm – join for as long or as little as you want.
Tree planting is still one of the most effective ways of removing carbon from our atmosphere to mitigate climate change.
Councillor Donna Stimson, cabinet member for climate change, sustainability, parks and countryside, said: “Planting trees is an important part of our Environment and Climate Strategy which sets out our vision and actions to achieve the borough's net-zero emissions target by 2050 at the latest.
“We want to maximise the potential for tree planting on council-owned land to help sequester carbon dioxide, enhance biodiversity and create green spaces for both residents and visitors to enjoy. Since 2019 we’ve planted more than 10,000 at places like Cooley’s Meadow, Eton Wick, the Gullet, Maidenhead and Trinity Wildlife Area, Windsor, plus a further 8,000 planned at Ockwells Park, of which 2,500 have already been planted this winter.
“I know there is a lot of support within the Royal Borough for reducing the impact we have on our environment and this event is a great opportunity for residents to get involved on the ground. The climate crisis is everyone’s problem, and it is vital we all work together to make a difference.”
Alistair Will, of Braywick Nature Centre, said: “Tree planting is such good fun and an easy way to do something positive for the future. I hope to see you there! I also want to acknowledge the help we are getting from our fantastic community and business partners – if you can’t make 15 January, you can still help by joining one of the many sessions we are running with voluntary groups such as GoodGym or The Conservation Volunteers, or we can organise a day for your work team. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.”
Volunteers attending the planting day on 15 January can park at Ockwells Café, SL6 3AA and follow the ‘tree planting’ signs for a 10-minute walk to the planting site. Children must be accompanied, and you should dress for the outdoors with boots or wellies and gloves and bring your own spade.
A short film about the tree planting project so far can be seen at https://vimeo.com/showcase/7158642/video/503165041
The project is supported by a grant from Network Rail and the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment.