Putting trees back into Bathwick

Trees are returning to the streets of the Bathwick Estate – thanks to a campaign by the local residents association.

Volunteers were out planting around 40 trees – including ornamental cherry, crab apple, pear, birch and mountain ash. It’s the largest ‘street-tree’ planting project the council has delivered in a single location for decades.

For the past two hundred years the area has been referred to as ‘leafy Bathwick’, but over the years many trees were lost due to old age and disease.

The local Residents Association canvassed for the new trees to replace them, improving the natural environment while respecting the area’s heritage.

The project was funded through S106 developer contributions and topped up with a grant of £500 from Councillor Manda Rigby’s Ward Empowerment Fund allocation. 

Cllr Rigby said: “Trees are the masters of multi-tasking: they absorb carbon, improve air quality, provide valuable habitats for wildlife, reduce storm water run-off, relieve people of stress and just look beautiful.

Sadly, over the years Bathwick’s tree lined streets have become rather depleted so it’s fantastic we’ve been able to fund replacements which in the long term will benefit the whole community. The residents have led on this, and it’s been my pleasure to support them, they really did all the hard work.”

As part of its response to tackling the Climate and Ecological Emergency, Bath & North East Somerset Council has said it wants to see 100,000 new trees planted across the district by May 2023. 

Councillor Dave Wood, joint cabinet member for Climate Emergency & Neighbourhoods said: “Over the centuries, land which was one covered in woods and trees has been cleared for development.

Yet trees are vitally important in making life sustainable, affecting everything from the air we breathe to water conservation. Their ability to convert carbon into oxygen is key in helping us tackle climate change. Add to that the positive impact trees have on our wellbeing and you can clearly see the benefits of mass planting.”

B&NES is currently drawing up a delivery plan to support tree planting in both rural and urban areas across the district.