Cllr Trudy Reynolds is the Parish Council's tree warden. The Tree Warden Scheme is an initiative led by the Tree Council and is supported by Cornwall Council and town and parish councils.
Cllr Reynolds is not a tree expert but is concerned about the amount of trees and hedges that are disappearing from our landscapes. Trees are the oldest living things on our planet and must be protected, managed and renewed.
Trees not only enhance our landscape and improve the quality of our environment but also support wildlife and biodiversity. Trees can moderate our local climate. They can strengthen communities, be beneficial to the local economy and make a positive contribution to people's health.
Cornwall is one of the least wooded counties in the country so every tree is special.
Cllr Reynolds plans to work closely with the local community, local farmers and landowners to promote the importance of trees by activities such as:
- Championing local trees and woods
- Planting and caring for trees
- Reviewing woodland management
- Surveying trees and gathering information about them
- Providing early warning of threats, disease, decay or vandalism
- Involving people and organisations in tree projects
- Setting up tree nurseries using seeds/saplings collected locally
- Sourcing funding for tree events and projects
If you have any ideas to help with this, please contact Cllr Reynolds.
Charter for Trees, Woods and People
September 2019 Update
The Woodland Trust are offering free trees to schools and community groups. They do this twice a year for delivery in March and the autumn. There are a variety of packs available for hedgerows, orchards, copse, wild wood or urban trees.
Applications need to have the landowners permission and contain the grid reference of the site.
If anyone has any suggestions of suitable areas, please ask the landowners to get in touch with the parish council who will be happy to make an application.
July 2019 Update
Cases of Ash Dieback (Chalara) have been identified in Charlestown. Samples have been sent to the Forestry Commission who monitor the condition nationally and they have confirmed the problem.
The first signs of Ash Dieback are the blackening and wilting of shoots usually noticed first in early and mid summer. Most infected leaves shed prematurely but in some cases the infection progresses from the leaves into the twigs, branches and eventually the trunk causing dark lesions or cankers to form on the bark. In severe cases the entire crown shows leaf loss and dieback which can lead to the death of the tree. This is a notifiable disease which needs to be logged with the Forestry Commission.
Landowners do not need to take any action unless authorised to do so and the advice is against felling living ash trees. There is evidence that an increasing number of trees tolerate the infection and that some trees will recover. General advice is to burn, bury or compost fallen ash leaves and to remove any diseased stems or branches.
The Woodland Trust and RHS websites contain more information.
May 2019 Update
The parish council is considering a couple of projects to increase tree density in the parish: Project 2020 would involve planting 20 similar trees throughout the parish to celebrate 2020, with the aim of bringing the community together and hopefully kick-start more local tree planting; another idea is to plant 20 trees in one area where trees are lacking, possibly on the Foundry Parc estate; finally (if we can find the land) it would be great if we could plant a community orchard.
Please let us have your thoughts and ideas - if you would be willing to help, please get in touch.
April 2019 Update
I would like to start with 2 good news stories.
Firstly the Charlestown Road street trees have been planted and on schedule. I think we ought to thank Cornwall Council/Cormac for the work done. We will keep the pressure on to replant the two remaining trees further up the road.
Secondly I was told of a tree planting scheme at Polmear Farm and this morning I was given a guided tour. There is a new orchard area with 21 mixed fruit and nut trees and a paddock area where 36 trees have been planted, including oaks, alders, walnut trees and salt tolerant pines. We are lucky to have this biodiverse area in the heart of Charlestown and I think the owner should be congratulated for planting them.
Planting trees brings me on to my next point which is The Grow Nature Seed Fund. It is a scheme aimed specifically at increasing tree cover in Cornwall by supporting woodland, orchard and hedgerow planting. Up to £1000 is available for eligible projects run by locally based “not for profit” organisations.
The Fund would support small scale projects within local communities such as
• establishing community orchards
• planting hedges to shelter community facilities
• turning community greenspaces into habitats for wild-life
• making eco-friendly improvements to community centres or village halls
• planting street trees
and many more. There is also chance to increase this funding by applying to Cornwall Council's Community Chest Scheme and Crowdfunding. We have some posters which will go up on the notice Boards and full information will be on the council’s website, so please start thinking of ideas and projects which local community groups could benefit from. https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/grow-nature/funding/
My final points are with this Easter weekend coming up get out an enjoy the woodlands which with the leaves coming out and the native bluebells underneath are now at their best.
And finally my survey says “Its oak before ash so we are in for a splash!”
Charlestown Street Trees Update
I am told that the delay in replanting is because Cormac was having difficulty in sourcing replacements. I believe this has now been resolved and look forward to the project being completed.
March 2019 Update
The Parish Council's request to have a TPO put on the copse of Beech trees between Lobbs Shop and Trenarren was unfortunately turned down by Cornwall Council. Cornwall Council agreed that although the trees are in a prominent position and contribute to the character of the area, there is no evidence of any threat to the trees. They advised that they will only create a TPO where it is essential to do so and in the face of clear evidence of likely harm to the visual amenity of the locality.
Work to replace the street trees in Charlestown Road is well underway and hopefully 2 replacement trees will be planted shortly. We tend to think of trees in woodland or the countryside but this work shows how important street trees are as well.
There were some problems in Duporth when some trees in the buffer zone between Duporth Bay and the new over 55's development were taken down, but residents have been assured that replacement trees will be planted and overall the work will create a better amenity.
Bird nesting season started on 1 March and runs until 31 July so please do not cut down trees or hedges during this time.
February 2019 Update
For several months now there has been unsightly fencing around two street trees in Charlestown Road. The fencing was put there as the roots of the trees were standing proud of the pavement and causing a health and safety issue. Work is due to commence this month to remove 4 trees in total, dig a 1m deep trench and install an appropriate root protection system then re-plant 2 of the trees. (It is hoped to replace the other 2 trees in the next financial year). Cormac submitted a planning application (PA19/00708) for consent for works to trees in a Conservation Officer and the Tree Officer has no objections to the work. Street trees have an important role and I am pleased that Cornwall Council is investing in a long term solution.
The Parish Council has applied for a TPO on the copse of Beech trees between Lobbs Shop Cottage and Trenarren. These trees are an important visual landmark and provide an important wildlife habitat.
January 2019 Update
This month I have walked around the parish and have been impressed with the amount and variety of trees in Charlestown and Duporth protected by Tree Preservation Orders and we are working with Cornwall Council to decide whether or not other trees in the parish should have this protection.
Now is the time of year for the snowdrops to start to appear, especially in wooded areas, so if you are out in the woods in the next few weeks, go snowdrop spotting!
Some useful links
The Tree Council