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Volunteers dig in to help council tree planting campaign

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Volunteers from the Isle of Wight Green Gym have been working on the latest phase of the Isle of Wight Council's project to plant new, native trees in public spaces, and care for the existing trees and woodlands. 

Visitors to Lake Cemetery will be able to enjoy more trees in future, thanks to the enthusiastic team.

Isle of Wight Green Gym have been working with Isle of Wight Council tree audit officer Tony Gillingham over this winter, enhancing the tree cover in several public open spaces.

The team have already been busy at Shanklin Cemetery and Appley Park, and this month the project moved on to a boundary hedge at Lake Cemetery which Tony had identified as needing more planting to ensure it remained valuable for people and wildlife in the future. 

Trees from a nursery area at Appley Park were transplanted to Lake: the plants are all native species including field maple, birch, oak, and wild cherry.

Tony Gillingham explained: "Part of my job is to ensure the Isle of Wight Council's tree stock in public areas is meeting the needs of local communities.

"So working with volunteers is a key part of this project - it's important that the trees we plant today are cared for by people in the future.

"I have enjoyed working with IW Green Gym, not only are they amazingly hard workers, but they come with a lot of expertise too - these folk know their trees!"

Councillor Jonathan Bacon added: "Our Climate and Environment Strategy sets out our ambitions for reducing and offsetting carbon emissions.

"Planting trees on council land is a visible indication of the actions we are taking, and a tangible sign of our commitment to our status as a UNESCO Biosphere

"Looking after the many trees and woodlands that the council already owns is another key part of this work - mature trees can absorb far more carbon than tiny saplings.

"I'd like to say thanks to the volunteers of the Isle of Wight Green Gym for their help this winter, and to many others around the Island who have been planting new trees and caring for old trees this season."

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