Bridgwater Town Council took a big step forward in their work on the climate crisis and voted to set up a Tree Replacement Fund and to hold an Eco festival in the towns historic Castle street to be called ‘Seed The Day’ . The Tree Fund will take Hamp Green Rise in Bridgwater as a test project where 6 trees are under threat and will then be opened up to cover the whole town in accordance with the Town Councils avowed policy of ‘A Tree For a Tree, at the very least’. The ‘Seed the Day’ Festival came as an initiative from the last Climate Change Forum and will take place on Saturday 7th September from 10am to 5pm. Entry is free and everyone is welcome. The event is being organised by Climate Change Portfolio Holder Cllr Li Gibson (Westover).
Seed the Day
Cllr Li Gibson added “Not only will the event bring a vibrant and dynamic street fair and indoor market to the town it will also explore issues around climate change and investigating greener living, sustainability and diversity. There will be bustling indoor and outdoor markets with stalls, offering delicious plant-based hot street foods from around the world, deli foods, cakes, chocolates, fermented drinks, wine and ethical eco-products. Find out more about local and national charities working to improve the environment and protect our wildlife. A program of talks and demonstrations will be running throughout the day. The historic Bridgwater Arts Centre will host a bar and hot drinks cafe on the day raising much needed funds for this fantastic space. Local musicians will be performing throughout the day on the outdoor stage . Come along, share ideas and join in the fun. Any positive action on climate crisis needs to come from the grass roots. Everyone needs to be involved as we’re all part of this.”
Tree Replacement Fund
Introducing the innovative ‘Tree Replacement Fund’, Town Council Leader Cllr Brian Smedley said “This decision tonight comes from the disastrous policy of Somerset County Council refusing to replace the trees which they are taking down. We engaged with them and with residents to find a solution to trees under threat in Hamp Green Rise but with no success. We now have to intervene directly and work with these partners but to take the lead ourselves. We therefore need to set up a Tree Fund via an arms length charity which we can seed fund and which can be used to attract specific tree replacement funding plus crowd funding from people who wish to save our trees. Hamp Green Rise needs to be the test case to see if this policy will work and then we want to build the fund and use it across the town . Trees are so important and we can’t be complicit in their wanton removal without replacing them at least like for like but at best manifold. ”
Li Gibson added “Trees and other plants in our environment reduce human stress, which in turn creates better mental health and prevents environmental diseases such as cancer.Trees are homes for billions of animals, birds and insects who need trees, and other vegetation for their survival. If you remove or reduce any link in this biodiverse chain, which human activity is causal, imbalance and the death of species will ensue, be it plant or animal. Tree cover is fundamental to carbon uptake and it’s one of the main ways that we can humanly influence the stabilisation of global heating, by planting trees en masse. Our aspiration is not just to replace one tree with another but to move to a policy of structured tree planting such as community orchards and Rewilding .”
The next Climate Change Forum, chaired by Cllr Li Gibson , will be on Thursday 15th August at 7pm at the Town Hall. Cllr Gibson said “Members of the public will be welcome to attend. We will update on the tree situation but the main theme will be plastics”