HOW many times would you expect the word ‘tree’ to occur in a climate change plan? Hastings Borough Council’s Climate change plan is a 55-page-long document, available online, with a title of Hastings and St Leonards Town-wide Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2012.
I searched for the word ‘tree’ and found it once (on page 33) where the fact that trees slow the rate at which water reaches the ground is mentioned. There is no description of how trees are an important carbon sink in urban areas or the role of trees in climate change prevention. Perhaps our planning department wouldn’t want to highlight the importance of trees, so many planning applications result in their removal.
Under the heading, What we have achieved so far, is [we have] Protected existing biodiversity by designating wildlife habitats, sites of special scientific interest and Local Nature Reserves.
This might raise an eyebrow or two. So many are campaigning in order to protect their open spaces, local nature reserves (Robsack), SSSIs and woods (Marline).
In the case of Speckled Wood the community is attempting to get it designated as an local nature reserve and been refused. Not forgetting the awful Archery Road development prevented by the inspector which must have been terribly disappointing for the planning officers.
However, I acknowledge that our council is not all bad, it is a signatory of the Local Government Climate Change plan, whereas, despite a cabinet report recommending it, East Sussex County Council is not. Perhaps it is waiting for the large number of trees on the route of the link road to be felled before signing.
Trees are an important consideration for climate change and are nice to look adding quality to peoples quality of life it’s such a shame we are losing so many.