County backs tree plea

PUBLISHED: 12:08 21 February 2014 | UPDATED: 12:08 21 February 2014

A PLEA for more trees to be planted on Devon County Council land has been unanimously supported by the authority.

Councillor Claire Wright, who is the Woodland Trust’s tree champion for Devon, says the move will have flood prevention benefits among others.

Water sinks into the soil under trees 67 times the rate at which it sinks into soil under grass.

“We are lagging a long way behind Europe on our tree planting, with less than 10 per cent of wooded areas, compared with around 44 per cent in Europe,” said Cllr Wright, who represents the Ottery St Mary rural ward.

“With the recent weather, our already struggling trees, which are battling development and unprecedented disease, have been under huge pressure from the storms.”

Mrs Wright thanked fellow councillors for their support and said she is look forward to finding suitable areas to plant native species to help tree populations to recover – which could also boost wildlife.

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