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Stevenage is set to have more new trees planted, after Stevenage Borough Council secured government funding.

The council applied for funding from Defra’s Coronation Living Heritage Fund, which will support tree planting initiatives to commemorate the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.

The council will be awarded just over £36,000 to create three new ‘micro woods’ across the town, which will be planted at St Nicholas Park, Hampson Park and Shephalbury Park. Each wood will be around 200m2 – roughly the size of a tennis court.

The micro woods will be created using a planting method pioneered by Japanese botanist Dr Akira Miyawaki, which is particularly effective in the urban environment. The trees planted using this method grow much faster, jump starting the forest creation process and capturing more carbon. Higher biodiversity has been recorded in Miyawaki forests compared with neighbouring woodland, making it an ideal method for creating diverse woodland ecosystems quickly.

Planting is scheduled to take place next winter (2024/25), and the community will be invited to support the planting of these new wooded areas.

Councillor Simon Speller, Portfolio Holder for Environment and Climate Change, said:

“We are the only council in Hertfordshire to have been awarded this funding, and it shows our commitment to reducing our carbon emissions and reaching net zero.

“We all know how important trees are to the planet and to our health, and the planting of the three micro woods will follow our other endeavours to improve the environment for local people and wildlife – including the planting of Fairlane Wood, our wildflower and grassland meadows, and community orchards.

“Please look out for more information regarding the planting next year. This will be another community planting and we’d love as many of you as possible to get involved and help to make Stevenage even greener.”