New Banbury woodland planned to capture carbon

Plans are advancing to plant 30,000 trees in Banbury Country Park, as the council ramps up its response to the climate emergency.

Published: Monday, 14th October 2019

Cherwell District Council’s plan for the park has been brought forward by two years, thanks to a partnership with local distribution company DCS. The company is investing £40,000 of funding for trees to help offset its carbon footprint.

The project is the start of the Cherwell’s response to the climate emergency, which it officially declared at the full council meeting in July.

Cllr Barry Wood, leader of the council, said: “Bold action on climate change is needed to avoid the most extreme effects of global heating. This requires leadership and joined-up action from all sections of society.

“As trees grow, they absorb CO2 through photosynthesis, reducing the impact of carbon released through the burning of fossil fuels. The council has long held ambitions to plant more trees in Banbury Country Park, but this partnership with DCS has enabled us to act more quickly and be more ambitious.

“We have already been contacted by a team of local volunteers who are keen to help plant the trees, and we will be putting shovels in the ground as soon as the planting season starts in November.

“I salute DCS for taking steps to offset their carbon footprint and would urge other local businesses to do the same.”

Denys Shortt OBE, founder and CEO of DCS, said: “At DCS we are making a big effort to tackle the effects of climate change. Our aim is to be carbon neutral by 2030.

“We are delighted to be undertaking this project in partnership with Cherwell District Council where we have sponsored the planting of 30,000 trees to plant an entire woodland within the new Banbury Park.

“By working with a local council the trees can be enjoyed by the local community and our employees – it is a win-win. We hope other businesses around the UK will follow our lead.”

The council will team up with local volunteers to plant all 30,000 trees in the coming months. They will all be native English species, including oak, hazel, willow, hawthorn and pine.

The climate emergency motion passed by the council in July acknowledges the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s October 2018 report which says that the world has just a dozen years left to restrict global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels and avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate breakdown.

In January, elected Members will consider a report on a full range of things that Cherwell District Council can do to respond further to the climate emergency.

Banbury Country Park is set to officially open in 2022 and the woodland being planted over winter will be one of its five character areas.