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Council creating a green corridor for wildlife on disused railway site

Published
27.01.2023

Gloucestershire County Council is creating a green corridor for wildlife on a disused railway site by planting more than 3,000 trees.

Images of tree planting to create a green corridor in Cheltenham

Trees and shrubs will be planted along a 1.88 acre stretch of land between Bournside School and Canterbury Walk, the former site of the railway line in Cheltenham.

A planting day was held on Thursday 19 January following work to clear the site in preparation for the new green corridor.

Cllr David Gray, Cabinet member responsible for the environment at Gloucestershire County Council, was on hand to help with the planting, alongside 15 pupils from Bournside School’s eco-ministry.

Mixed native broadleaf trees which include Hazel, Hawthorn, Beech and Oak trees will all be planted at the site as well as hedgerow plants.

The five-year project will cost a total of more than £45,000, with funding from both the council and the Forestry Commission’s Local Authority Treescape Fund and be part of the 80,000 trees the council hopes to plant across the county this season.

Pupils from Bournside School will continue to help with the maintenance of the area.

Cllr Gray said: “I am delighted that we are creating this wildlife corridor in Cheltenham.

“It will create habitats and encourage biodiversity while helping to reduce our county’s carbon footprint.

“This is the latest example of how this council is working hard to tackle the climate emergency and create a Greener Gloucestershire.”

Cllr Emma Nelson, local member for Leckhampton and Warden Hill at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “This site has previously been neglected and overgrown. This planting is a great chance to make a wonderful quiet haven for wildlife where they won’t be disturbed, it will also help to reduce carbon emissions and pollution.”

Gareth Taylor, assistant head teacher at Bournside School, said: "Our eco-ministry students were delighted to be involved in the tree planting.

“The new corridor is in addition to the 400+ trees planted on the school's site last year, and both projects have provided a fantastic opportunity to inspire learning about trees, wood life and wildlife, and will create a lasting legacy for future generations and the local community.  

“The students have also created a community garden in Hatherley Park and run regular litter picks to give back to the local area."

James Fry, Forestry Commission South West Area Manager, said: “Trees make our local areas healthier and more pleasant places to be, helping to moderate temperatures, reduce pollution, decrease flood risk and improve people’s quality of life.

“Local Authorities, such as Gloucestershire County Council, are uniquely placed to deliver the Government’s tree planting ambitions and we are proud to provide funding to support the trees the council will plant this season.”

If you have land available for planting please get in touch by using the expression of interest form and you can find out more about tree planting here.

Planting trees will help us work towards a Greener Gloucestershire by improving air quality and biodiversity. You can sign up to receive the ‘Greener Gloucestershire’ newsletter to keep up to date on local activity, as well as to receive hints and tips on how you can reduce carbon emissions.

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