Published on 29th January 2021

close up photo of cherry tree blossom

Cheltenham’s efforts to tackle the climate emergency are being supported by the town’s Rotarians who are planting 100 trees in 2021 to mark their centenary.

Among the earliest of the planting schemes planned is a community-led proposal in Oakley ward, which was requested by residents and led by ward councillors, which is scheduled to start next week.

The council, Cheltenham Borough Homes and Cheltenham Rotary have teamed up to improve the green at Lynworth Place, with 38 new trees, in response to residents' requests to improve their environment. The trees will also combine with posts to form a barrier to stop people driving cars across the green – a long-term goal of residents.

A variety of species have been chosen to give greater bio-diversity, including wild cherry, flowering pear and whitebeam. Trees are well known to improve air quality and will contribute to the borough-wide 2030 carbon neutral goal.

Oakley councillors had been working with residents and Cheltenham Borough Homes for some time to improve the green. After speaking with the council about the potential for a joint approach, the Cheltenham Rotary Club applied to Enovert Community Trust (ECT). This bid met the needs of local residents, who were keen to have tree planting to enhance the green space outside their homes. The grant application was successful and tree planting will start soon, with the work being carried out by local landscape contractor, Nature First.

Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for climate and communities at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “Our ambitious carbon neutral target will need a big effort by everybody, including community groups and local residents.

“We have been consulting residents around Lynworth Place for some time about improving the green and ways to stop people driving cars onto what is a cherished local greenspace.

“The scheme that has been designed will not only do that, but it will improve air quality too while supporting wildlife. Thank you to the local residents and the Rotary Club for helping to make this happen.”

Sue Jenkins, Rotary Cheltenham North Club member and chartered landscape architect, organising the planting, says: “Rotary clubs work to improve life in their towns using the skills of their members who volunteer their time and expertise freely.

“Our members were able to obtain generous sponsorship for this work from companies, individuals and charitable trusts who are interested in improving the Cheltenham environment.

“We’re really pleased that the grant application was successful and would like to give our thanks to ECT. Rotary clubs have had to cancel fund-raising events this year due to the pandemic, and councils have limited funds for tree planting, so we wanted to do something that would benefit our local community and leave a lasting environmental legacy.”

Angela Haymonds, ECT Trust Secretary, said: “Outdoor spaces are so precious and this project to plant trees in the heart of a residential area really appealed to the Trustees of ECT.

“Particularly heartening is the long term impact this project will have, by establishing trees which will increase the biodiversity of the area whilst also enhancing its look and providing shade for the many activities that happen on Lynworth Green. We are pleased to have been able to contribute.”

The borough council declared a climate emergency earlier this year and has an ambitious target of becoming a carbon neutral town by 2030.  Tree planting will form one strand of work. For more information on the council’s climate emergency work, visit the council’s website: and for more information about trees in Cheltenham, visit the trees webpages.

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