Visitors to Woking Town Centre on Wednesday 28 November 2018 can take home their very own tree to plant and nurture, to raise awareness of Woking Borough Council’s newly launched Tree Strategy and Management Policy whilst at the same time mark National Tree Week.
Trees provide a host of benefits both to people and to the urban landscape. The strategy highlights the importance of having a healthy and diverse spread of trees within the Borough and the consideration of trees as part of the design of any future development. The new Management Policy accompanying the strategy provides a framework for how the Council cares for its existing trees.
Tree canopies absorb pollutants to help provide cleaner air and also absorb carbon and reduce urban heat levels, thereby mitigating the effect of localised climate change. Roots can help prevent soil erosion and run-off, and soak up excess rainwater which decreases the risk of flooding.
As biodiversity declines at an unprecedented level, trees provide ideal habitat for thousands of species of flora and fauna. There is also a proven benefit to residents of trees on their health and mental wellbeing.
Cllr Beryl Hunwicks, Woking Borough Councillor’s Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Sustainability, said: “Trees play a vital role in the enhancement of our Borough and we have a duty to both protect our mature trees, which form such an important part of our Borough’s heritage, as well as provide appropriate space and conditions for saplings to thrive.
“However, we must also be mindful of other habitats which Woking is famous for, such as our heathlands. These documents will ensure that management and indeed, removal, of trees in areas where we are trying to enhance biodiversity and support endangered species, is managed with sensitivity and to the best effect.
“We are proud of our new Tree Strategy and Management Policy which provides guidance on the management of our cherished leafy giants and the creation of an ecologically diverse, green Borough, ensuring that as Woking grows and develops as a vibrant hub, we do not forget to give back to the natural world that gives so much to us.”
Saplings will be handed out by Woking Borough Council Tree Officers, along Mercia Walk in Woking Town Centre between 11am and 3pm on Wednesday 28 November 2018.
Trees will be handed out on a first come, first served basis and the Tree Officers reserve the right to limit the number of trees handed out to individuals, based on levels of demand.