Priory Park Warwick

Part of the historic Priory Park in Warwick is to undergo a tree re-planting programme thanks to Warwickshire County Council’s Green Shoots Fund.

The £1m Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund is allocated by Warwickshire County Council and supports a wide range of small, community-powered initiatives across Warwickshire in addressing the climate change emergency.

The funding will allow the Friends of Priory Park (FOPP) group to undertake a tree planting scheme in Priory Park which will include:

  • The planting of 7 heavy standard lime trees, of between 3.0 and 3.5 metres in height (at the time of planting) in Priory Park.
  • Mitigating the visual impact of a significant new Medical Centre upon Priory Park and the loss of trees during that development.
  • Providing practical input into the National Curriculum and encouraging a wider understanding amongst school children of the importance of tree planting in helping to fight climate change

Beyond the biodiversity net gains of increased wildlife habitats, the 7 lime trees, when fully grown, will have the following positive environmental impact:

  • Remove an average of 147 kg of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per year;
  • Capture an average of 181 kg of harmful particulate matter from the air per year; and
  • Produce an average of 238 kg of oxygen per year.

Priory Park, which dates back to the 12th Century, is a significant public park located in the centre of Warwick. The public areas include large areas of grass and sections of trees, with the total area of the public space standing at 28.7 acres. The park is a Heritage site of national importance.

The park is a well-used area by local residents, schools and visitors to Warwick. The unique character and history of Priory Park makes it an important part of the district.

In recent years, a new three-storey Medical Centre has been built at the junction of Cape Road and Priory Road, sitting within the Warwick conservation area. The Priory Medical Centre is visible from entrances to Priory Park and within the park itself, and has had a visual effect on the character and appearance of the area.

The development of the Medical Centre led to the removal of 7 mature trees.  This project will plant 7 heavy standard small leaf lime trees, 3.5 metres in height and with a 12-14cm girth each, around the perimeter of the new Medical Centre. The trees are consistent with the character of the park and will help to mitigate the visual impact of the newly-built Medical Centre.

The project hopes to provide the local community, schools and users of the park with a project that they can all have ownership of, as well as offering awareness of the need to maintain and protect our natural resources.

It will incorporate local school children, teaching them the techniques of tree-planting by hand, why it is necessary and the benefits it has on the environment. The project also highlights the importance of ensuring trees lost through development are replaced and that environmental loss must be mitigated.

Work is expected to begin in November 2021 and be completed in March 2022.

Jerry Birkbeck, Chairman of the Friends of Priory Park, Warwick, said: “The Friends of Priory Park (FOPP) have contacted seven local schools and Community Organisations to see if they would be prepared to consider managing and maintaining the trees in cooperation with FOPP and Warwick District Council's Green Spaces Team.

“The aim of this is to help young children to gain a better understanding of their local environment and how they can actively contribute to ensuring the future of Priory Park, which is a jewel in the history of the town of Warwick.”

Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture, said: “Quite often we see trees become a casualty of new developments, which is why tree planting projects such as this one in Priory Park are so important. The impact trees have on our environment and the climate cannot be understated, which only highlights further the need to protect trees and plant new ones when the opportunity is there.

“At Warwickshire County Council we are committed to planting new trees throughout the county or, in the case of Priory Park, replace old trees that have been lost. The planting of the seven new trees will enhance the character of this historic park and educate the local community about our fight against the ongoing climate emergency, and what we can all do to help.”

FOPP are holding an Open Meeting at the Wild Boar Pub, Lakin Road, Warwick on Thursday 18th November at 7.00 pm for anyone in the area who is interested in finding out more about this project and priory park. More details are available on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/friendsofprioryparkwarwick

Further information about Priory Park, Warwick, can be found here: https://www.prioryparkwarwick.org/

A full list of projects that will 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 Fund, visit: www.warwickshire.gov.uk/greenshootsfund

For more information about how Warwickshire is facing the challenges of climate change, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/

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: 12th November 2021