Planting of 14,000 trees underway for new woodland in Charnwood

Published: Thu 17th November, 2022

  • From left, Cllr Roy Rollings - Charnwood Borough Council's lead member for transformation, Cllr Jennifer Tillotson - Mayor of Charnwood, Cllr Jenny Bokor - Charnwood Borough Council's lead member for Loughborough and open spaces in Charnwood, Cllr Jonathan Morgan - leader of Charnwood Borough Council, Mr Mike Kapur - Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Cllr Dave Neville, parish councillor and tree warden for Hathern Parish Council and Cllr Emma Ward, borough councillor for Dishley and Hathern.

A project which will see over 14,000 trees planted to create a community woodland in Hathern is underway.

Charnwood Borough Council is creating the 15-acre woodland on council-owned land in Hathern.

Around 14,500 trees will be planted to create Hathern Community Woodland. It is one of the biggest tree planting schemes the Council has ever undertaken in one location.

Cllr Jenny Bokor, the Council’s lead for Loughborough and open spaces in Charnwood said: “Hathern Community Woodland will offer a range of positive benefits for residents in the local area. It is going to take some time to flourish but I hope the local community enjoy watching it grow over the next few years.

“The Council is committed to providing the borough with high-quality open spaces and the woodland is a great addition to Hathern.

“We are holding a number of tree-planting sessions over the next few weeks so the local community can get involved. It would be great to see as many residents as possible coming along to plant a tree or two!”

The land off Golden Square in Hathern is a total area of 18-acres and are former arable fields which were used for growing crops.

The project is being supported by Hathern Parish Council and Forestry England. Around £50,000 of Forestry England funding is being used towards the project.

The Council held a consultation last summer to gather feedback on the proposed design and over 200 local residents offered their thoughts.

Cllr Roy Dann, chair of Hathern Parish Council said: “We’ve worked closely with the borough council on the project, and it is great to see that planting has started.

“The woodland is a welcome addition to the village, and I would encourage people to get involved in the planting sessions on offer.”

The project is also expected to contribute to the Council’s commitment to become Carbon Neutral by 2030. It is estimated that after 30 years, Hathern Community Woodland will have the potential to capture up to 1,323 tonnes carbon dioxide.

Cllr Roy Rollings, lead member for transformation with responsibility for the Council’s campaign to become Carbon Neutral by 2030 said: “Hathern Community Woodland is one of the largest tree planting schemes ever undertaken by the Council. The planting of 14,500 trees is a significant step towards our pledge to ensure 100,000 trees are planted in Charnwood by 2024.

“Woodland areas have a positive impact on our lives including helping to improve the quality of the air. This project is all about creating a woodland which can be enjoyed for many future generations.”

The trees at Hathern Community Woodland are also being planted in support of the Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC).

Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mr Mike Kapur joined local borough and parish councillors and officers to help get planting underway. He said: “I was pleased to be invited to Hathern where over 14,000 trees are being planted in support of QGC.

"Not only will the woodland have a positive impact on the community in Hathern, but it will also pay tribute to Her Majesty’s many years of selfless and dedicated service to the country.

“Trees have been planted at over 100 sites across Leicestershire in support of the QGC so far and it is great to see a further 14,000 trees being planted in Charnwood.”

Thousands of trees have been planted across the UK this year as part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

For more information about Hathern Community Woodland including how to register for a community planting session, please visit: www.charnwood.gov.uk/hatherncommunitywoodland

You can also keep up to date with this project and other updates from the Council by signing up to receive email alerts. Visit: www.charnwood.gov.uk/alerts.