A freedom of information request has revealed recently that 25% of the new trees Norfolk County Council planted as part of a carbon offset scheme for the Northern Distributor Road construction six years ago have since perished.
Of the 30,000 planted, roughly 7,500 have died, calling into question the planning and preparation that went into selecting locations for the new trees, and measures (or lack of) that went into attempting to maintain them through the first years of their lives.
Norfolk Council are already behind schedule in their pledge to plant one million new trees by 2024, of which they are barely 1/5 to target after 4 years. But it seems even when trees are planted, they’re left to die as simply a tick-box exercise rather than a committed net-zero strategy. There is also an understanding that almost a further 3200 trees not related to the Northern Distributor, but planted in line with the general environment drive, have also been lost in Norfolk, with no fund for replacement in sight.
Leader of the Lib Dems on Norfolk County Council, Brian Watkins, said:
“What’s the point of a carbon neutrality plan if not enough trees are planted to achieve the targets, and those that are planted die from council incompetence? It really is disappointing we don’t have an administration who takes this issue seriously.”