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Cambridge City Council

Council collaborates on art project and upholds principles of Tree Charter for National Tree Week

News release from 3 December 2020

CAMBRIDGE City Council has marked National Tree Week by collaborating on an exciting art project and restating its commitment to the national Tree Charter. 

The council has worked with the charity Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) and local artist Hilary Cox Condron to create a gallery of pop-up ‘Forests of Imagination’.  

For ‘Forests of Imagination’, children from Mayfield and Girton Primary Schools made colourful pictures of fantastical trees and tree-dwelling creatures inspired by trees at Murray Edwards College and Girton College.  

The children’s designs were then printed onto material and taken by participants in the project to hang from a favourite real-life tree. The colourful results can all be seen on CCI’s website at https://www.cambridgecandi.org.uk/projects/reimagine/tree-charter  

The council is also restating its commitment to uphold the principles of the national Tree Charter as part of its activities for National Tree Week, which continues until 6 December. 

The Tree Charter’s stated aim is to set out ‘the principles for a society in which people and trees can stand together’ which are to:

  • Sustain landscapes rich in wildlife 
  • Plant for the future 
  • Celebrate the power of trees to inspire 
  • Grow forests of opportunity and innovation 
  • Protect irreplaceable trees and woods 
  • Plan greener local landscapes 
  • Recover health, hope and wellbeing with the help of trees 
  • Make trees accessible to all 
  • Combat the threats to our habitats 
  • Strengthen our landscape with trees 

The charter was launched in 2017 in response to what The Woodland Trust described as the crisis facing trees and woods in the UK. 

The aims of the Tree Charter and National Tree Week align closely with the council’s own Cambridge Canopy Project which was launched earlier this year. 
 
The Cambridge Canopy Project will see the city’s urban forest grow through planting 2,000 new trees on council-owned land, distributing 1,500 for planting through the council’s Free Trees For Babies scheme, and working with residents and landowners to plant a further 12,500 in gardens and private land. 

The Cambridge Canopy Project is part of a wider European initiative called Nature Smart Cities across the 2 Seas which aims to help communities adapt to climate change and increase the amount of green infrastructure in participating cities.  

Cllr Katie Thornburrow, Executive Councillor for Planning Policy and Open Spaces said: “Throughout the challenges of this year, getting outside and enjoying our surroundings has offered essential respite for many of us.  

“As a council we acknowledge the importance of the open spaces in the city, and the importance of trees across its landscape. That is why we recently committed to upholding the ten Principles of the Tree Charter and are working to increase the tree canopy cover in the city from 17% to 19% in the coming years.”