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Trees Woods & Hedges

We’re all pretty clear how important trees are to our environment and it’s fair to say they can be considered a superhero of our planet. They help clean the air we breathe, absorb carbon, filter the water we drink, act as flood resisters, and provide habitat to over 80% of the world's biodiversity to name just a few of the benefits they bring.

It’s said that one of the most powerful things you can do for the planet is to plant a tree and we agree, but trees should not be planted for planting’s sake.

They need to be an appropriate species and planted in suitable locations where they can provide maximum benefits.


SSDC Tree planting schemes

We are committed to providing biodiverse habits across our estates and supporting our communities to do the same where they live, and during the recent tree planting season from October 2020 to April 2021, we’ve collectively planted over 6000 new trees across South Somerset.


We couldn’t have done it alone though, and this has been a joint achievement from you in the communities and our Countryside and Street scene teams, and we would like to thank everyone involved.

The ways we have achieved this are through various schemes:


  • The Urban Tree Challenge Fund (UTCF) - this scheme was developed in response to HM Treasury releasing £10 million in the 2018 Autumn Budget announcement for planting at least 20,000 large trees and 110,000 small trees in urban areas in England. We were successful with bids for Chard and Martock where 900 feather-sized trees have been planted to reduce impacts of future flooding and develop more connected canopy cover within their urban settings.

  • Our own Great Parish Tree Giveaway -  we supplied 3000 trees to local communities to plant in their parishes. To be covid safe we delivered 3000 trees, stakes, and guards to our representatives across the district.  

  • SSDC annual tree planting schemes – this season, our Countryside and Streetscene team have planted 670 trees of which 570 were planted at Wyndham Hill in Yeovil. 

  • 1000 rescued oak trees - we were able to rescue 1000 young oak trees from being mulched last spring when they became unviable at their existing tree nursery during lockdown. These have been cared for and brought on by our team at Lufton Nursery and planted by our Streetscene team at a number of locations across South Somerset.

  • Yeovil Recreation Centre - we planted approximately 2500 trees as part of a tree planting scheme across the site. As part of this scheme we hope to demonstrate that recreational and sporting facilities can go hand in hand with nature conservation and carbon sequestration. The trees are made up of eighteen different species, including English Oak, Walnut, Hazel, Tulip trees, Holly and Yew. For more details, see our case-study highlighting the wider environmental improvements made at the site here.

Click on the video below to hear more from SSDC Portfolio Holder for Environment Sarah Dyke.

Tree and Hedgerow Planting Schemes - Funding Opportunities

A number of national tree planting schemes and funding opportunities are available that can help with funding for community tree planting initiatives, or even provide trees free. We have provided details of several of these schemes below:

The Woodland Trust

  • The Woodland Trust offer free trees for community groups and schools, with applications taken for delivery in March and November each year. To apply click here.

The Tree Council

  • The Tree Council have a range of opportunities available to help you plant trees and hedgerows in your area. This includes the Branching Out Fund, Orchards for Schools and the Community Hedge Fund. To apply, click here.

If you are interested in committing an area of land for tree planting, please use the Contact Us form, as we would love to hear about it. Typically you will require around 5 to 8 metres of perimeter land, 1 metre wide for 30 hedgerow trees, or a tennis court sized area for a copse of 30 trees.

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