The Committee received and considered the report from the Strategic Director & Project Manager.
The Project Manager gave an overview of three workstreams that were currently/proposed to deliver tree planting in Great Yarmouth. These are Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Parks and Green Spaces Levelling Up Fund and GYBS Annual Tree Planting works.
As part of developing the planting strategy as part of this project, there are some specific requirements from the funders in terms of the areas in which trees can be planted. Areas selected for planting must fall within an urban area. This is defined as a built-up area, with a population of at least 2000 people.
As a result, the ten planting areas selected are:
• Trafalgar Road
• Mariners Road
• York Road/St Johns
• St Peters Road
• The Conge
• North Drive
• South Quay
• North Quay
The project team were working hard to try and plant as many trees as possible within these specific areas. The tree species which have been chosen are best suited to the areas where these trees are to be planted, and the conditions needed for the trees to survive and thrive.
We were notified of our funding success in October last year. As a result, timescales were very tight in terms of delivering any planting for the Winter of 21/22. By working with landscape master planners as part of this project and the Town Centre Members Working Group, a small number of sites were identified which could be planted during 21/22, resulting in 86 trees being planted over 4 sites.
Phase 2 is the planting scheme that has been designed with our master planners for tree planting between November 2022 and February 2023 and will consist of 205 trees being planted over 5 sites. At this stage of the project our anticipated planting numbers are less than originally planned at funding bid stage, but the team are confident that the proposed tress will be planted in the right areas in a way that they will become established and thrive. The table below details the sites and trees which are proposed to be planted as the second phase of this project.
Specific analysis has taken place with regards to South Quay, due to ongoing issues with tree survival rates in this area. This has included extensive investigation and soil testing. Several tree pits were excavated as part of site investigation to inform plans to replant in the area. Recommendations for the most appropriate approach given the various site constraints were given and form part of the planting proposals in this area. Although it is stressed that there will still be a risk to tree planting in this location, much has been done to try and mitigate this risk in the longer term.
On the completion of Phase 1 and Phase 2 planting, in total, 285 trees will have been planted. This will leave 220 trees which will need appropriate sites that adhere to the funders guidelines to be identified and proposed. Work is now underway to develop these proposals. It is therefore proposed that once any agreements have been made with the funders in terms of additional planting areas that phase 3 proposals will be finalised and presented for further discussion.
As part of the funding for this project, GYBC has created two traineeship Tree and Horticultural Assistants who are working with GYBS on a full-time basis for a period of nine months. These placements will assist in the planting, documenting, and monitoring of establishment to ensure longevity of trees. These placements commenced in June this year.
Working alongside the Field Studies Council, a range of workshops will take place, both face to face and remotely. With the aim to increase awareness of tree species, the health of trees both existing and new and how to identify healthy trees through the seasons. Creating a wider knowledge within the community of tree health, will support the long-term maintenance of trees within the borough and promote a sense of shared ownership of communal areas and trees.
This project is also part of the Queen’s Green Canopy, created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee where residents will be invited to plant a tree for the jubilee. Everyone from individuals to children’s groups, schools and businesses will be encouraged to play their part to enhance our environments by planting trees during the official season between October and March. There is a focus on planting sustainably, encouraging the creation of a legacy to honour The Queen’s leadership of the nation, which will benefit future generations.
The Queen’s Green Canopy event in Great Yarmouth will take place between November 2022 and February 2023 and will involve the planting of trees by stakeholders, VIPS and school children, alongside a variety of engagement activities. A Queen’s Green Canopy plaque will be unveiled, and an afternoon tea will be held for key stakeholders and VIPs.
In July 2022, the Council was notified that it had been selected as an area to receive monies as part of the Governments Levelling Up Parks Fund. This is fund has been developed specifically to improve parks and urban green spaces within cities and towns, Identifying the importance of providing spaces for communities to come together and people to have access to the outdoors and green spaces to support their physical and mental wellbeing.
In working through these considerations, Diana Way in Caister was identified. This is also potentially eligible for an additional £75,000 in terms of section 106 monies, increasing the total available budget to £160,000 for park improvements. The map below outlines this area. This Park is of a good size and will have space for tree planting to take place, alongside capital works, and is a site which could achieve Green Flag status once improvement works have been undertaken.
Consultation has taken place with the relevant ward Councillors, and the proposals for this site are currently being developed. As this funding forms part of the Levelling Up Fund and involve section 106 monies, the final proposals will be presented to the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee in September for ratification.
The Grounds & Leisure Manager reported that the GYB Services Arboriculture Team carry out tree maintenance and tree planting across the Borough in accordance with the Service Level Agreement on behalf of GYBC. GYBS have a limited budget to undertake any new tree planting which totals approximately £20,000.
The Chairman asked if local Members had been consulted. The Project Manager reported that he had held a member engagement meeting two weeks ago.
Councillor Fairhead asked for confirmation as to what type of fruit tress would be planted as fruit dropping to the ground could cause issues. The Grounds and Leisure Manager informed Members that ornamental cheery tress had been planted.
Councillor P Hammond asked for clarification as to where the tress would be planted in North Yarmouth. The Project Manager reported that they would be planted around the planned beach huts. Councillor Hammond asked if they would be evergreen or deciduous. The Project Manager reported that they would be evergreen.
Councillor Cameron asked whether the existing trees at the southern end of the Market Place would be removed as part of the new planting scheme. The Project Manager informed Members that the planting scheme had been designed for the northern end of the Market Place.
Councillor Robinson-Payne informed the Committee that herself and Councillor Martin had attended the briefing meeting. However, she still had concerns regarding the placement of the trees and trusted that they would not just be plonked into the designated areas as had happened in the past.
The Project Manager reported that the trees would be planted in accordance with the planting scheme plans but there would be some on-site leeway allowed to avoid services and utilities.
Councillor P Carpenter reported that she welcomed the trees to be planted at Diana Way.
Councillor Waters-Bunn referred to the play and open spaces as mentioned at 4.3 the report and funding that would be available for play equipment. Councillor Waters-Bunn asked that this funding be utilised for disabled, accessible play equipment which was much needed in the Borough. The Project Manager agreed to note this request.
Councillor B Wright asked if the trees to be planted would be native species. The Project Manager confirmed that they would be native species.
Councillor P Hammond asked that the Committee and Ward Councillors have sight of the plans for the siting of this play equipment. Councillor P Carpenter informed Members that Parish Councillors would be invited to a meeting in early October where this would be discussed.
Councillor P Hammond suggested that a row of trees should be planted along the green mile at Crab Lane, Gorleston. The Grounds & Leisure Manager reported that if Members suggested potential planting sites then these would be considered. The Chairman asked him to email this request out to all Members.
ACTION:- The Grounds & Leisure Manager reported that if Members suggested potential planting sites then these would be considered. The Chairman asked him to email this request out to all Members.
Councillor Waters-Bunn reported that she was disappointed that 124 trees had been planted in the last three years but none of these had been in her ward. The Grounds & Leisure Manager agreed to send the planting plan to all members.
ACTION:- The Grounds & Leisure Manager agreed to send the planting plan to all Members.
Proposer: Councillor P Hammond.
Seconder: Councillor Annison
That the Committee note the report.