Surrey plants seeds to tackle climate change

Surrey County Council (SCC) planted the first of 1.2 million trees at the Surrey Hills Wood Fair at the Surrey Hills Wood Fair.

The Surrey Hills Wood Fair in Cranleigh celebrated the beginning of a council initiative to tackle the Climate Change Emergency declared the Parliament in July.

Earlier this week, SCC cabinet member for environment and waste Mike Goodman discussed the council’s plans with BBC Surrey, saying: “Surrey is the most wooded land in the country… but we’re still going to plant 1.2 million trees.”

He said they aimed to plant a minimum of 100,000 trees per year by working with the UK government, woodland charities and businesses that use wood as part of their services.

“I think it’s a fantastic start to what’s going to be a very exciting program over the next 12 years,” said Goodman.

This pledge comes as part of the “Surrey’s Green Future” initiative to tackle the climate crisis, with the aim for Surrey to bring its carbon level to zero by 2050.

The Surrey Hills Wood Fair celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with two days of activities for families and children, including knife throwing, tree climbing and a drive-a-digger exhibit.

It also provided a sapling tree for families to take home and plant themselves.

Vivian Drake, from Working for Wildlife Ltd, was at the fair encouraging visitors to sign up for membership with The Woodland Trust: a national charity that protects, preserves and develop woodlands in the UK. She explained the public’s help was essential.

“We have to accommodate the trees… it’s so important,” she said.

The Woodland Trust planted 3.2 million trees last year, and are aiming to plant 3.9 million by the end of this year.

Visitors enjoying horse cart rides at the fair. Picture: Olivia Murphy

The Woodland Forest School, based in Leatherhead were also running a stall with practical demonstrations and ‘mud kitchens’ for children to try out.

They aim to teach children important outdoor survival skills, such as woodcraft, and build confidence being outdoors, aimed at children from age three upwards.

Carol Bristow, who runs the school with husband Jay Bristow, explained: “It’s important to get them outside, now that they’re behind screens so much.”

Residents who attended the fair were pleased by the Council’s programme to increase the number of trees in Surrey.

Sylvia, 48, from London, said: “It’s very important to preserve our countryside. The same goes for our wildlife and bees. They’re all so essential for us.”

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