Lancashire County Council’s Treescapes team have secured three separate grants which will help woodlands to flourish across Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen, and Blackpool.
On Friday, November 24, it was announced that they were successful on a £150,000 bid from the Coronation Living Heritage Fund, which was created to mark the Coronation of the King.
This will support the planting of several urban community micro-woods (called Miyawaki woods) and to support community groups planting orchards across Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen, and Blackpool.
This latest funding adds to the bids already secured of £83,692 from the Local Authority Treescapes Fund and the £61,237 from the Urban Tree Challenge Fund.
The Local Authority Treescapes Fund will pay for the replacement of 97 trees, which were felled alongside highways due to a disease called ash dieback, and 500 small saplings along the A59 near Clitheroe. Planting in this area is vital as it was ground zero for the North West, where the deadly disease was first discovered in 2014.
The Urban Tree Challenge Fund will plant larger trees in urban greenspaces in Lancashire and Blackburn, with Darwen with Tarleton Community Primary school to receive 20 woodland and fruit trees.
County Councillor Shaun Turner, cabinet member for Environment and Climate Change said: “There are endless benefits to planting more trees across Lancashire and these three grants are a very positive step forward for the environment.
“We may only be left with a small portion on the woodland that once dominated the UK, but we must do everything that we can to take care of it and rebuild it when there has been a problem.
“To limit the spread of the Ash dieback disease, we were forced to cut down affected trees. Replanting these is a very positive step forward and as Clitheroe was the first area to be horribly decimated by the disease almost 10 years ago, it feels like we are almost full circle to be starting with the replanting there.”
Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki developed a tree planting technique that involves enhancing the soil and planting trees closer together, which results in faster growth than traditional techniques. This faster growth allows carbon to be absorbed faster.
Councillor Turner added: “The Miyawaki woods are also a very exciting new development and will absorb carbon faster than woodlands do usually, as they will grow faster and be so densely populated.”