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Neighbourhood Canopy Campaign

Phase 3 of the campaign starts soon - if you live on Coldham’s Lane in Romsey, find out how you will be able to claim your free tree below.

Cambridge currently has 17% tree canopy cover – meaning leaves and branches cover 17% of the city’s ground area. This is more than the national average, but we are working to increase it to 19% to make the city more ‘climate resilient’.

Tree canopy cover in Cambridge varies from ward to ward. Newnham in the west of the city has 22.6% cover, while Cherry Hinton and Abbey in the east have only 12.8% and 12.9% respectively.

This unequal distribution of trees and green spaces across the city will impact residents in different ways. While the benefits of easy access to natural spaces and features like trees continue to be studied, the links to increased physical and mental wellbeing are clear.

Recognising this inequality across the city, we have launched the Neighbourhood Canopy Campaign.

Every year we will identify areas with low tree canopy cover and prioritise one of them based on their need. The government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation will help us identify areas with the greatest need.

Through the campaign, we’ll be giving free trees and shrubs, including fruit and pollinating species, to residents in the target areas to help improve tree canopy cover. If we can, we’ll also give away bird boxes, insect hotels, water butts and wildflower seed mixes.

Campaign 3: Coldham’s Lane, Romsey

We have selected Coldham’s Lane in Romsey for our third Neighbourhood Canopy Campaign.

If you live on Coldham’s Lane and would like to claim a free tree, shrub, or plant, complete our online application form when the campaign starts soon.

We’ll ask you to tell us which species of tree or plant you would prefer, and your contact details so we can keep you updated.

The application deadline is 31 July 2022. We will aim to deliver the trees in National Tree Week (26 November to 4 December 2022).

Some properties on the streets adjoining Coldham’s Lane will fall inside the boundary – those properties will also be eligible for a free tree or plant.

Campaign 2: Verulam Way area, Arbury

We launched our second campaign in the Verulam Way area of Arbury in 2021. We delivered the trees in January and February 2022.

Residents claimed 92 free trees, helping to increase the local tree population and the city’s future canopy cover.

Residents selected 23 different species or varieties of tree and shrub. The most popular choices were edible plums, closely followed by edible and flowering cherries.

Campaign 1: Whitehill Road estate, Abbey

The first area identified by the campaign, in late 2020, was the Whitehill Road estate in Abbey ward.

In total, 81 residents applied to claim a tree. The most popular variety was the edible cherry, followed by dessert apples, and edible plums.

And nearly 100 fruit trees were donated to CoFarm Cambridge to help establish their orchard, including more than 80 apple trees from heritage varieties.

We delivered these trees in time to plant them before the end of the recommended planting season, which runs from November to March.