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Campaign to plant 100,000 trees

A major campaign has launched to plant over 100,000 trees across the South Downs.


Following a tremendous public response to the initial 2019/2020 appeal, “Trees for the Downs” has gone from strength to strength and will now look to plant tens of thousands more trees than originally planned.


The campaign has smashed its initial target of raising £61,500 – raising a staggering £175,000 in just 18 months after a flurry of large and small donations.


Now the South Downs National Park Trust has set its sights on raising a total of £260,000 to be able to plant 100,000 trees across Hampshire and Sussex.


The trees, a mixture of iconic species including black poplar, oak, field maple and disease-resistant elms, will be planted in community spaces and along roads and popular walking routes.


The charity appeal launched in autumn 2019 to restore trees that have been lost over the past few decades, including those to Ash Dieback and Dutch Elm Disease.


Julie Fawcett, of the South Downs National Park Trust, the official charity for the National Park, said: “The response to Trees for the Downs has been overwhelming and far exceeded our expectations. I think it shows how much we love our trees! I’d like to thank each and every person, community group and business that has donated to this inspiring campaign – every penny counts and every tree planted will make a difference.”


Some 10,000 of the 100,000 trees are already in the ground, with planting taking place last winter at more than a dozen sites across Hampshire, West and East Sussex. Farmers, landowners and community groups applied for funding for the trees from the Trust.


The Trust hopes to plant the trees in phases over the next four years, until 2025, and applications are now open for future round of planting. Those interested can email grants@southdowns.gov.uk for more details.


Applications are welcome from farmers, landowners, parish and town councils, schools and community groups, including those within the National Park and those near the National Park boundary.


To donate to Trees for the Downs, see www.southdownstrust.org.uk/trees-for-the-downs/.

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