Tree Planting at Foundry Wood 2012_2

The village of Radford Semele will soon be greener as a new 4-acre Children’s Forest is set to be created thanks to Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund.

The full list of 69 projects set to receive funding from the Green Shoots Fund was announced on 30 July 2021 and the Children's Forest at Leasowe Farm in Radford Semele was one of a handful of projects to receive the maximum funding amount of £25,000.

The Children's Forest project will establish a new 4-acre woodland at Leasowe Farm in Radford Semele. The initiative will see local children planting and maintaining a “Children’s Forest” for future generations to enjoy.

The Project will also raise awareness of climate change with the children and their families, to inspire and empower them to take action to reduce their carbon footprints and leave a positive impact on the environment. The Children’s Forest will include:

  • The planting of 2,600 trees on 4 acres of land;
  • Engaging 350 people (of which at least 70% will be children and young people) over 2 years to create the forest; and
  • Maintenance of this new woodland for many generations to come.  

The project is managed by Achieving Results in Communities (ARC), a local community organisation that has been working for 10 years to enhance access to, and management of, the natural environment to benefit the physical and mental health and wellbeing of local people in Warwick District and surrounding areas.

The project is guided by the Leasowe Land Regeneration Project Steering Group, whose vision is to engage the local community in a transition from farmland to woodland for a total of 12 acres, thus creating longer term connections to the land, woods and nature.

It is expected that planting of the Children’s Forest will be completed in the 2023 planting season (November ‘22 – March ‘23) and it is hoped will be open to its first visitors in the same year.

In terms of positive impact on the environment, the children’s forest, when fully grown will:

  • Extract an average of 67, 700Kg of CO2 from the atmosphere per year;
  • Produce an average of 88,400Kg of Oxygen per year; and
  • Capture an average of 67,600Kg of harmful particulate matter from the atmosphere per year.

Kristie Naimo, Spokesperson for the Project and Director of ARC said: “We are very excited to be starting this project to help people foster a stronger connection to woodland and nature locally. We hope this pilot will inspire and lead to the creation of more bio-diverse natural spaces across Warwick District.”

Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and the Environment, said: “The Children's Forest at Leasowe Farm is the perfect example of why we created the Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund.

“In only a matter of a couple of years  Warwick District will have an incredible new outdoor space of 2,600 trees to enjoy and, more than this, at least 350 local people will have been involved in a unique initiative to reduce Warwickshire’s carbon footprint whilst also gaining and sharing a better understanding of our natural world.

“Trees are something that it is easy to take for granted, but their impact on our environment and climate is profound. They absorb carbon dioxide and other harmful particulates while producing oxygen, actively cooling the air around them and providing essential habitats which boost biodiversity.

“One of the greatest harms we have done as a species is the vast deforestation of our planet, which is something we are now actively trying to reverse. At Warwickshire County Council, we have made a commitment to plant a tree for each resident in the County, which equates to over 600,000 trees. Projects such as the Children's Forest at Leasowe Farm will play an essential role in this commitment to tree planting.”

A full list of projects that are set to receive Green Shoots Community Climate Change funding can be found here: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/news/article/2324/green-shoots-will-soon-be-springing-up-across-warwickshire-as-projects-set-to-receive-a-share-of-wcc-s-1-million-community-climate-change-fund-are-announced 

For more information about the scheme, visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/greenshootsfund

Find out more about Achieving Results in Communities (ARC) CIC and their other projects around Warwick District here: www.arccic.co.uk

Find out more about Children’s Forests here: https://www.childrensforests.org/

For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/strategies-policies-legislation/facing-challenge-climate-change-warwickshire

Get the latest news about how Warwickshire County Council and partners are facing the challenge of the climate emergency and how you can get involved: http://eepurl.com/hrk-zf

Published: 9th August 2021