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Portsmouth City Council will plant 440 new trees this month, bringing the total number of trees planted in the city this year to 1,446.

The new trees will be planted thanks to a grant of £15,543 from The Tree Council. 200 small plants, between one and two years old and around 60cm in height, will be planted on Great Salterns Field adjacent to Portsmouth Golf Course, and a further 200 at Baffins Park. All will be mixed-native trees that are local to the UK.

The trees at Baffins Park are being planted in Stagg Wood, on the north side of Baffins field to replace any small trees that didn’t survive when Stagg Wood was created in 2014. The wood was planted by more than 200 schoolchildren and their families with Cllr Lynne Stagg, ward councillor for Baffins, in her role as Lord Mayor of Portsmouth at the time.

40 trees between three and five years old and about 2metres in height will also be planted in the north of city, including 20 near the recently completed sea defences in Hilsea, 10 in John Wesley Gardens and 10 along London Road adjacent to Gatcombe Estate.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change at Portsmouth City Council, said: “As part of our commitment to maintaining and increasing tree cover in and around the city, we will replant any tree removed during the previous year and will look to plant new trees, where possible.

“Greenery in the city is absolutely vital for air quality, biodiversity and the impact on climate change, but it also has an important impact on our mental and physical wellbeing, and creating a healthier, more aesthetically pleasing place to live, work and travel.”

In March 2020, the council approved the Greening Portsmouth Strategy; to plant more trees in public and private spaces, to engage with community groups and to support Portsmouth in becoming carbon neutral by 2030. In the same year, the council announced its greenest-ever budget with £37m invested in environmentally-friendly projects throughout 2020-21.

The funding received from The Tree Council also includes maintenance costs for the 440 trees for the first two years.

Cllr Steve Pitt, Deputy Leader of the council, added: “The administration is passionate about making a Portsmouth a greener city, and we know we must come together as a city; a region; a country, to take action against climate change.

“Our commitment to planting more trees in our city is one of the ways, among many, that we are supporting this, and I am proud of the work undertaken by our teams this year.”

By the end of February, 1,446 trees will have been planted in the city during 2020/21 by Portsmouth City Council in partnership with Colas and The Tree Wardens.