Tree planting shows huge growth in Blackburn!

Published Monday 13 May 2024 at 12:57

Spring has been a busy time for children and community groups alike as they have been planting trees in Queens Park and Corporation Park.

Recently the Council published the Tree and Woodland Strategy which is an ambitious plan to protect, maintain, improve and expand the borough’s trees, hedgerows and woodlands. Part of the funding to increase our trees in Blackburn with Darwen has been received by the Lancashire County Council Treescapes team, who won £300,000 from the Coronation Living Heritage Fund to support the development of micro-woods and community orchards in Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool to commemorate the King’s Coronation, which is part of DEFRA’s Nature for Climate Fund.

On the 12th March, 30 children from Shadsworth Junior School and Audley Junior School worked with the Blackburn with Darwen Parks team and Lancashire County Council Tree Officer and Ecology teams to plant 850 trees and shrubs in a new micro-wood in Queens Park.

A micro-wood or ‘Miyawaki’ wood is a new method of creating a fast growing, miniature forest in urban environments. Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki developed the technique which involves improving the soil and planting trees close together; resulting in faster growth. Using conventional methods, a forest can take 200-300 years to mature, while this method only takes 20-30 years. This allows carbon to be absorbed faster and also supports far more biodiversity over a traditional newly planted woodland – boosting our local wildlife.

One student from Audley Junior School said: With determination, we managed to plant two and some of us even three trees per square, arranging them neatly in rows. As we made our way home, a sense of pride filled us, knowing that we had planted a remarkable total of 42 trees – contributing to our environment.

Another said: After processing what we had done, I realised that I felt a sense of accomplishment and happiness that we had given back to our wonderful community. Hopefully, these trees will grow and provide much happiness to the society and be beneficial to the environment.

Following that, on the 23rd of March, further planting took place in Corporation Park in the form of a community orchard – known as the Corporation Park Friends Orchard. The Corporation Park Supporters Group as well as Blackburn with Darwen borough council Parks team and Lancashire County Council officers came together to plant 18 apple, pear, damson, gage and cherry trees just off the Broad Walk. The exercise attracted many new volunteers who were all awarded for their hard work with a free hot drink afterwards at the park community café.

Councillor Jim Smith, Executive Member for Environment and Operations said: There are so many advantages to planting trees in the borough, not only do they attract a wider variety of biodiversity, but they also contribute to our responsibilities in reducing our impact on the climate. We are very lucky to live in such a green borough and being able to get the community involved is a huge plus. I’m grateful to everyone who has helped plant trees so far.

The new orchard in Corporation Park should start producing fruit in around three years’ time. If you would like to be involved with looking after the orchard or any other aspects of the Park, please contact the Corporation Park Supporters Group on

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