Green Hustle Launch Twenty Twenty Tree Project With Trees For Cities, Planting Over 2,023 New Trees

Words: Adam Pickering
Photos: Adam Pickering
Monday 27 November 2023
reading time: min, words

Green Hustle's latest and largest tree planting project, in collaboration with Trees For Cities, has just begun, but there's still three dates left for you to get involved with. Green Hustle Co-Director Adam Pickering tells us all about it...

20231125 111910

Saturday just gone, 25 November, the sun is shining on a decidedly frosty but mercifully dry morning, and we’re at the green space on Radford Bridge Road in Beechdale. We’re here to launch our Twenty Twenty Tree project, an ambitious collaboration with Trees For Cities aiming to plant at least 2,023 trees in Nottingham City in 2023, more than Green Hustle has ever done in a year.

We managed to plant a little over 1,000 in 2021, 1,500 in 2022, and in this project we’re actually hitting 2,150 trees, and are probably on for about 2,250 so far this year in total; if we can just get a couple of hundred more in somewhere, which we’re working on, we’ll hit 5,000 trees planted in total over the last three years!

For nature-based action, you’d be hard-pushed to find something more beneficial for nature, and for you, than tree planting in the cold winter months

As Environment Co-Editor here at LeftLion Magazine I could be accused of over-using this platform by telling you about our latest Green Hustle tree planting project, again, but I promise to only talk about our own tree planting once a year here, it is once again our biggest project yet, and it’s a little different to previous ventures. Here’s why…

We’re not planting another Miyawaki-style mini forest, or hedges - great as those things are, they have a smaller footprint and are densely packed, which means trees grow quickly and provide great habitat and cover for a lot of wildlife, but they are less likely to be able to grow into full size trees. More trees is always a good thing, but trees left to reach their full size maximise the carbon absorption, air cleaning and cooling, and flood mitigation potential of each and every tree, helping us humans, whilst creating masses of new space for wildlife to thrive.

20231125 114409

This first site of three is a former play park which fell into disrepair and was removed, leaving a football pitch, with some tall poplars and other mature trees around the edge. The plan is to plant 350 new mixed native trees - all are grown locally as far as possible, many at Woodthorpe Park, a few no further away than Derbyshire - in a C shape around the edge of the field. This will provide a wildlife-friendly corridor, boosting the relative wilderness of the adjacent train line, adding interest for users of the space who are mostly dog walkers with kids using it as a play area more in warm months, and bringing ecological benefits to the whole local community.

As I spy the open green space in person for the first time - the wonderful Sandra Horner, Tree and Volunteering Officer for the City Council’s parks and open spaces team, has selected the space - the scale of the project finally dawns on me. In terms of the sheer area covered, this one looks like it could contain all of our previous projects combined, and it’s the smallest one we’re doing this time round…

Saturday 2 December we’re at Amesbury Circus, Aspley, planting 500 trees, and then we’re back at Bulwell Hall Park (where we’ve previously planted 250m of hedge) we’re planting a massive 1,300 trees. That’s a lot of woodland. And you can get involved with the next ones (sign up link below).

Sandra surveyed and marked out where the trees will go, sourced the trees for us, and delivered them along with planting equipment - shovels and gloves - in an electric council van. For our part, the Green Hustle team has been focussed on developing the partnership with Trees for Cities and engaging the community - we’ve been shouting about it on social media, getting in touch with local schools and community centres, and getting out there on local press to ensure that as many people as possible, and crucially the communities where they’re based, have the opportunity to help and get the wellbeing benefits from these nourishing sessions. We were aiming for 15 volunteers per session, and we had 25 at this one.

20231125 121830(0)

Funding for the whole tree planting party came from charity Trees for Cities, who raise money through a mixture of individual giving (go and support them!) and partnerships. Trees for Cities get stuck in with local communities right across the country, to cultivate lasting change in local neighbourhoods, whether it’s revitalising forgotten spaces, creating healthier environments or getting people excited about growing, foraging and eating healthy food. 

With 80% of the population living in towns or cities, many people now breathe dirty air, are at risk of flooding and are struggling with rising temperatures worsened by the urban heat-island effect. Tree canopy cover in Nottingham is currently around 13.7% which is below the minimum level of 20% cover for urban areas in the UK recommended by Forest Research.

Back to those volunteers - they’re the real heart of it, and what makes the planting days such beautiful mycorrhizal meetings. We had first timers, old timers, young children and immediate neighbours of the site from all walks of life get involved, and hopefully getting the bug for more tree planting once they realise how easy and fun it is. So a massive thank you from us to our volunteers.

For nature-based action, you’d be hard-pushed to find something more beneficial for nature, and for you, than tree planting in the cold winter months. Most mind-boggling to me is the incredible amount of new space we’re creating for wildlife, hangouts and food stations for (probably) millions of birds, mammals, moths, bees, worms and other wild creatures, nourishing and networking the soil for (hopefully) hundreds or even thousands of years to come. 

The remaining dates are Saturday 2 December at Amesbury Circus, Aspley, and Friday 15 and Saturday 16 December at Bulwell Hall Park - sign up here to get involved and receive further info

We have a favour to ask

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion

Please note, we migrated all recently used accounts to the new site, but you will need to request a password reset

Sign in using

Or using your

Forgot password?

Register an account

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.

Forgotten your password?

Reset your password?

Password must be at least 8 characters long, have 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number and 1 special character.