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Newbury Town Council unanimously supported a motion from Councillor Sarah Slack, calling on West Berkshire Council to increase the tree canopy cover in our town centre as a matter of urgency.

Cllr Slack, who is Chair of the Council’s Community Services Committee, said, “Both Councils have declared a Climate emergency, and this is a really important and urgent matter for all of us. This heatwave, and the earlier one just a few weeks back in July, demonstrates just how serious this is”.

She continued, “Tree canopy cover in an area is linked to the provision of benefits from trees, such as providing shade, shelter, removing pollutants and carbon dioxide from the air, flood management, providing habitat for wildlife, and making our urban areas more attractive, sustainable and healthy places to be. The recent public consultation for the Newbury Town Centre Masterplan revealed that 45% of survey respondents would like; “Add more planting and green space to the (town) centre”.

One of the stated aims in Newbury Town Council’s Mission and Strategy, is to: “Take actions to address the climate emergency”.

Newbury Town Council has forward working tree planting programmes. We are proud to have a policy of planting two new trees for each mature tree we have to remove due to disease, damage or demise.

In 2019, 48 trees were required to be removed from one of our green spaces and so we planted approximately 100 new ones to replace them. We also work with our community groups such as ‘Newbury Friends of the Earth,’ facilitating the ‘Lockdown Wood’ initiative and four new woods have been planted to date. Newbury Town Council has provided land during the last ten years for the ‘Growing Newbury Green’ initiative and six orchards have been planted to date.

All of these measures are helping to mitigate climate change.”


Cllr Sarah Slack, Chair, Community Services Committee sarah.slack@newbury.gov.uk 07970 790808

Hugh Peacocke, CEO Newbury Town Council hugh.peacocke@newbury.gov.uk 01635 35486