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Planting trees for a greener Chelmsford

Group Shot Of ECC Councillors Planting Trees
Chelmsford City Councillors planting 40 trees in Admirals Park. L-R: Cllr Stephen Robinson, Leader of CCC; Cllr Jude Deakin; Cllr Mike Mackrory and Cllr Marie Goldman, Deputy Leader of CCC

Multiple tree planting events have taken place across Chelmsford and West Hanningfield in the last month. A private tree planting session was held to honour the late Mayor, Councillor John Galley. Another took place to mark Councillor Sue Dobson’s term as the current Mayor. Plus, four Chelmsford City Councillors, who also serve as Essex County Councillors, gathered together to plant 40 trees in Admirals Park.

The Chelmsford Greening Project

The tree planting events support the City Council’s greening programme to significantly increase the amount of woodland and the proportion of tree cover in Chelmsford through a sustained ten year tree planting campaign.

The Chelmsford Greening Project is helping to achieve a Climate and Ecological Emergency target to make the council’s activities net-zero carbon by 2030. Currently, 66,862 trees have been planted since the start of the project. It is on track to reach the target of 175,000 trees by 2028.

Honouring the late Councillor John Galley 

In February, a Freeman’s Maple tree was planted to mark the late Councillor John Galley’s time as Mayor of Chelmsford. The former mayor’s close family and friends attended the ceremony. 

Councillor John Galley served as Mayor of Chelmsford from 18 May 2022 to his death on 11 October 2022. The tree was planted in Boreham, which was Councillor Galley’s ward.  

The former mayor’s wife and their family planted the tree alongside Councillor Sue Dobson. Councillor Dobson was Councillor Galley’s Deputy Mayor and is now Mayor of Chelmsford. 

Marking Cllr Dobson’s time as Mayor of Chelmsford  

An English Oak tree was also planted in February. Marking Councillor Dobson’s time in office as Mayor of Chelmsford, the tree was planted in her ward of West Hanningfield. 

Mayor of Chelmsford at a special planting to remember her time in office
Above: the Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Sue Dobson, at a special planting to remember her time in office.

After a prayer from the Mayor’s Chaplain, Revd Terry Brown, the Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford, Councillor Rose Moore, welcomed all to the ceremony.  

In her speech, Councillor Moore said:  

“It seems fitting to plant an English Oak on this site and to mark this occasion. English Oak is of course one of the best known of our native trees, once covering most of Britain and Europe. Once matured, Oak trees are invaluable for their aesthetic contribution to the landscape, and their important biodiversity role, supporting an entire ecosystem of native species.”

Cllr Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford

Following the planting, the Mayor was presented with a special inscribed spade to keep and remember her time in office. 

The Mayor of Chelmsford says that the regular planting of trees across Chelmsford is crucial if we want our city to remain green and healthy: 

“It is crucial that we increase the number of trees in our city – and our country – if we are to combat climate change and have a city which will remain green and healthy for both us and our future generations. Trees are amazing things – they capture carbon, support wildlife, give us shade and keep our green spaces looking beautiful.

It has been an honour to have a lasting memento of my mayoral year by planting one of my favourite trees, the English Oak; this fantastic tree supports more life than any other UK native tree and can live for hundreds of years. The English Oak was one of our most prolific trees, originally covering most of the country, and I look forward to seeing it flourish so that future generations can appreciate its beauty.”

Mayor of Chelmsford, Cllr Sue Dobson

The tree was also planted as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC). The UK-wide tree planting initiative was created to mark the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. It has been extended to March 2023 in honour of Her Majesty.  

If you’d like to keep Chelmsford green and plant a tree to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee, please visit the Queens Green Canopy site 

The queen's canopy platinum jubilee
The Queen’s Green Canopy plaque beside the Mayor’s newly planted tree.

Essex County Councillors plant 40 trees in Admirals Park

Some of Chelmsford’s City Councillors have a seat on another council, such as their local parish-tier council or Essex Council Council. Essex County Council has given each County Councillor ten trees for them to plant in Essex. Four City Councillors who also serve as Essex County Councillors, decided to group their gifted trees together and plant them in Admirals Park so they can contribute to the City Council’s greening programme.

On Monday 20 February, Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, alongside his deputy, Councillor Marie Goldman, with Councillors Jude Deakin and Mike Mackrory, gathered in Admirals Park to plant 40 young trees. They planted a mixture of Hawthorn, Hornbeam, Cherry Plum, Holly and Oak trees.

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Charlotte Maltby
Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes about the environment, parks, recycling, business, planning, public realm and democratic services.