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Trees and Hedgerows

Surrey Climate Change Strategy.jpg
Surrey New Tree Strategy.jpg

Trees sequester carbon by capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and transforming it into biomass through photosynthesis. Sequestered carbon is then accumulated in the form of biomass, deadwood, litter and in woodland soils. Trees also  support adaptation to the impacts of climate change, through shading and flood prevention. They can also provide significant benefits in terms of air quality, biodiversity, health and wellbeing, education and the economy.


Surrey's Climate Change Strategy sets out a target to facilitate the planting of 1.2 million new trees (one for every resident) by 2030 and their New Tree Strategy sets out how that will be achieved based upon the following strategic objectives:


  1. Partnership working: We will collaborate with partners to facilitate the planting of 1.2 million new trees in Surrey by 2030.

  2. Right tree, in the right place: We will adopt and advocate the "right tree, right place" principle to maximise benefits, reduce risk and build resilience for existing, and new trees planted.

  3. Effective planting and aftercare: We will adopt and advocate best practice in terms of planting practice, aftercare and protection to ensure both planted trees and naturally regenerated woodland survive and thrive.

  4. Leading by example: As a major landowner in Surrey, we will identify areas of our own estate where trees and woodland can be planted, in order to increase overall tree coverage.

  5. Valuing our existing green infrastructure: We will develop our approach to the management and protection of trees across the county. This will include the role of planning policy in supporting, where appropriate, the safeguarding of existing trees and planting of trees in new developments.

This Strategy is part of a wider Land Use Framework, which Surrey County  Council is developing with partners, and which will be completed by March 2021. The framework will inform decisions on how land and natural capital is used, managed and protected, as well as the role of planning policy and maximising biodiversity net gain from future developments.


Churt Parish Council and CHEWG regard ourselves as partners in implementing this SCC New Tree Strategy and support all of these strategic objectives,  whilst emphasising the importance  of the phrase ‘right tree in the right place’.


Of particular relevance to tree planting projects in Churt are these five summary points adapted from the Surrey Nature Partnership position statement:


  • Surrey is England’s most wooded county (with around 25% cover). From a biodiversity conservation perspective, protecting Surrey’s open, unwooded habitats (heathland in particular) is of far higher priority than increasing our native tree cover.

  • A biodiversity priority in Surrey is for planting native hedgerows which can provide connectivity between wildlife habitats.

  • Tree planting on low-grade arable and pasture land could be supported, but never on open land of any importance for its associated biodiversity.

  • There will always be a need for careful consideration of which tree species are appropriate for planting in any given site or area.

  • Allowing natural regeneration is usually far more successful at establishing resilient, native woodland than managed and costlier tree planting schemes.


For serious tree planting, check out  the funding opportunities on Surrey’s New Tree Strategy webpage and the Forestry Commission’s rather complex information on Woodland Grants and Incentives which fortunately includes a comparison table.

The Woodland Trust also offers a range of schemes. including subsidised tree packs and trees for your farm.


And if :


you have a field margin or other small or large area in mind for some autumn tree planting

or you are thinking of planting a mixed native species hedgerow to provide shelter, food and connectivity for wildlife please email 

to let us know and for advice if you need it.

Centenary Wood.jpg

A commemorative planting just over on the East Hampshire side of the border

Forestry Commission grant comparison tab
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