Champion City

[Photo: Children at Swainswick Church School with (L-R) B&NES Council leader Councillor Kevin Guy,  David Medlock DL and Edward Bayntun-Coward DL​]

Bath has been awarded Champion City status under The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) initiative.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has been celebrated for its tree planting projects within a QGC programme to highlight outstanding cities where trees are a central part of their plans for green spaces.

The council has offered every school in B&NES a tree to plant in their grounds, as part of the UK-wide initiative to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’. Trees have been planted during the official planting season, which is from October to March. 

In February the council delivered trees to 56 schools, including Swainswick Church School in Bath which planted a silver birch tree on Thursday (March 31) alongside council Leader, Councillor Kevin Guy, and Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset, Mr Edward Bayntun-Coward, representing Lord-Lieutenant Mrs Annie Maw.

The council’s tree planting strategy has also seen several tree giveaway events with 4,000 trees taken by residents to plant in their gardens.

This winter, trees have been planted across B&NES in projects funded by the Trees for Climate grant via the Forest of Avon Trust, with the help of residents, Friends groups, Bathscape, Grow for Life, and More Trees For B&NES.

Councillor Kevin Guy said: “Empowering our youngest citizens in making a difference to wildlife and the environment by planting a tree on their school grounds is an important contribution to tackling the climate emergency in B&NES, so I’m pleased to have been able to help Swainswick Church School plant their tree. 

“Trees are incredibly valuable for the environment, society, and enhancing our landscape when the right tree is planted in the right place for the right reason. Applying this principle is fundamental in ensuring we plant trees that will capture carbon and enhance the ecology of our area. 

“Our commitment to reach carbon neutrality for B&NES by 2030 is heavily supported by tree planting, which is why I’m delighted that planting is continuing at pace. We could not have achieved this without the support of our communities, so I’d like to thank everyone who has got involved.”

The tree donated to Bath by the Queen’s Green Canopy was planted at Widcombe School in November 2021. The Duchess of Cornwall also planted one of the council’s donated trees at Roundhill School in February.

Mrs Annie Maw, Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset, said: “I am delighted that Bath has become a Champion City and that Swainswick School celebrated this honour by planting a tree for the Queen’s Green Canopy. This will be a reminder of this special year for many years to come and will be a worthy legacy for our unique Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. God Bless Her.”

In 2021/2022 tree planting has taken place in the following parks and green spaces:

  • Pennyquick Park
  • Brickfields Park
  • Rush Hill
  • Corston View 
  • Moorlands Park
  • Purlewent Village Green
  • Weston Recreation Ground
  • Bloomfield Green

This season the council is also planting more than 200 trees on streets for their many benefits including air filtering, temperature regulation and improving well-being for the community.

Next planting season, the council plans to work with schools to adopt the One Tree Per Child Programme, an initiative that aims for all primary school children to plant a tree and watch it grow. 

The council declared climate and ecological emergencies in 2019, pledging to provide the leadership required to enable carbon neutrality in the district by 2030.

Find out more about the Queen’s Green Canopy