20,000 Acorns in the ground as 
Warwickshire’s Tree Nursery takes root

Warwickshire is set to get a lot greener as the Warwickshire tree nursery plants its first 20,000 acorns.

It is great news for the environment and Warwickshire County Council’s tree planting aspirations as the recently approved tree nursery plants its first 20,000 acorns at the centrally located site in the County.

Warwickshire County Council has ambitious tree planting plans that will see a tree for every resident planted across the County over the next eight years. This has been strategically planned to restore parts of forests and wooded areas that have been long lost to time, such as the ancient Forest of Arden, which once covered most of the county and beyond into Staffordshire and Worcestershire.

The UK market for trees is rapidly expanding with many local authorities and businesses making commitments to plant trees as part of their climate change response plans and efforts to make their businesses carbon neutral. As carbon sequestration schemes develop and the carbon market is established there is likely to only be higher demand for trees to be planted around the UK.

Most trees are currently imported from Europe where there are well-established nurseries that grow large numbers of trees from seed. Whilst this has previously been a source of low-cost whips and saplings, concerns about rising importation costs and the transfer of disease as well as a desire to reduce the carbon footprint from transport are making the UK tree nursery market more attractive.

This tree planting will play a significant role in contributing to the Council's commitment to address the global climate change emergency and will restore the Ancient Arden Landscape and other landscape character areas while improving biodiversity by creating extensive new habitats for wildlife.

The tree nursery, which has been established on a Council-owned smallholding, includes:

  • Polytunnels with automatic watering systems to save water;
  • A storage area for tree stock as well as equipment; and
  • Compost for the site comes from the WCC forestry team maintenance waste and green waste from the waste and environment team is being composted for use as an alternative to peat.

Should all 20,000 acorns germinate, something that is by no means guaranteed, it will represent the nursery’s target for Year 1 of its operation and there is more planting planned for Spring to boost these numbers further. Should all the newly planted acorns reach maturity as Oak trees, they will have the capacity to capture over 20,000 tonnes of CO2 over their lifetimes (around 500 tonnes per year).

In addition to helping Warwickshire County Council to meet its tree-planting aspirations, the tree nursery will also provide a valuable income stream with surplus whips and saplings being sold to other organisations and businesses in the County.

Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and the Environment, said: “It’s great news for the whole of Warwickshire that our nursery has got off to such a great start getting so many acorns in the ground.

“The global reduction of woods and forests and associated habitat and biodiversity loss is one of the greatest damages that we have done to our planet and its ecosystems. Renewed tree planting across the world will be integral our response to the mounting climate crisis, which is why we committed resources to establishing our tree nursery.

“The Woodlands Trust have stated that to meet the UK’s carbon net-zero target, it will need to plant at least 1.44 million hectares of new forestry across the country. In Warwickshire, we are fully committed to playing our part in this huge tree planting challenge and this will be underpinned by our own tree nursery giving the County access to trees with the lowest possible carbon footprint and at market competitive prices.”

The Council is currently engaging with residents around the draft Sustainable Futures Strategy.  Anyone can find out more and have their stay here: https://ask.warwickshire.gov.uk/insights-service/sustainable-futures-strategy/

Find out more about the Warwickshire tree nursery: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/news/article/3250/the-warwickshire-tree-nursery-planting-for-our-future

Find out more about Warwickshire County Council’s commitment to planting a tree for every resident: https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/news/article/2528/a-tree-for-every-resident-in-warwickshire

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

To sign-up to the Warwickshire County Council climate change and sustainability newsletter, visit: www.eepurl.com/hrk-zf  

Published: 25th November 2022