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Journal

Somerset Tree Strategy




 

September 2022 saw the start of a project working with the County of Somerset. An opportunity to think about and realise its ambitions for trees and woodlands. Published in 2023 Somerset’s Tree Strategy is a passionate call to action and a piece of work we are certainly very proud of.


We feel that too many tree strategies follow a quite samey and wordy format. In the past we’ve shied away from this kind of work. This one however was different. We were excited about the openness that Somerset was bringing to its new Strategy and were keen to be involved in something meaningful and important to the County.


Diverse landscapes


There must be few places with such diverse landscapes from upland moor through to floodplains; deeply rural communities to urban corridors. How can such a diverse place have one strategy that fits all? We have relished facilitating and helping the County conceive something focussed on nurturing a new balanced relationship between Somerset’s communities and the trees that share the diverse landscapes in the County.


Twisting a path through woodland management and urban treescapes via iconic orchards and new planting schemes. It became apparent that there was a passion for Somerset’s trees within the local community ready to be nurtured. We all believed that no amount of targets for woodland management, for trees in development or for planting schemes could be achieved if that passion couldn’t be harnessed and expanded. Without a significant focus on a tree culture in Somerset, the rest of the Strategy is put into jeopardy.


The Strategy


The Strategy itself is short and to the point. A call to action for all those in the County to get behind. It’s backed up by a set of ambitious targets for the next ten years. Achievable but pioneering, exciting but centred on future resilience. Behind all of that sits detailed evidence of the current state of Somerset’s woodlands and landscape and their incredible potential for the future.


We are immensely proud of the role we played in this. Excited by a Strategy that bucks the trend of recent similar work, we are optimistic that Somerset has a core of passionate people that can make a real difference over the next ten years, and have already started do so.


The full strategy is available at Somerset Council’s Climate Emergency Strategy page.


And there’s a short video we made to accompany the strategy that summarises the main themes you can watch here.


Future work


This work accompanies some of the other landscape level work we’ve been busy on with CPRE looking at opportunities in the London Green Belt, wood pasture in protected landscapes and the future of resilient, sustainable wood supply-chains across Europe.



 








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