'First Avenue' tree dedicated to Essex eco champion
Ground Control has recognised the Head of Climate Adaptation and Mitigation at Essex County Council, John Meehan, as one of 26 UK-wide unsung eco champions who is taking pioneering action to tackle climate change and reverse nature’s decline.
To celebrate the award John joined Chris Bawtree, Woodland Creation Lead, Ground Control and Councillor Peter Schwier, Essex County Council’s Climate Czar, to explore the new ‘First Avenue’ and select a young Field Maple to be dedicated in his name.
‘First Avenue’, the first tree planting project to be undertaken at Ground Control’s Wildfell Centre for Environmental Recovery, is an avenue of twenty-six young Alder, Beech, Birch, Hornbeam, Field Maple, and White Willow trees planted to mark the COP26 climate conference.
Ground Control’s Evergreen Fund acquired the 296-acre Wildfell Centre site, formerly Gray’s Farm, in April 2021. The land is currently mainly arable and through this showcase nature recovery project it will be transformed with the creation of new woodlands, restoration of hedgerows and planting of wildflower meadows. Ground Control aims to plant 150,000 trees by 2025 with many other projects like Wildfell, as part of our ambitious programme of native woodland restoration and ecological recovery.
Councillor Peter Schwier, Essex County Council’s Climate Czar, said:
Chris Bawtree, Woodland Creation Lead, Ground Control, said:
Essex County Council and Ground Control have worked together on several climate action projects including The Essex Woodlands project, with Ground Control providing woodland management to ensure the Essex County Council owned woodlands are thriving habitats for wildlife. Ground Control is a sponsor of The Essex Woodlands work project, which is also funded by Countryside Stewardship grants and funds from the Essex Forest Initiative. It is also supported by local volunteers.
Another partnership project is Chelmer Valley Wet Woodlands, a 12-acre woodland where 14,092 native and wildlife friendly trees have been planted to enhance the site’s biodiversity. The project is contributing to the Essex Forest Initiative, Essex County Council’s commitment to plant 375,000 trees over the next five years to tackle climate change. Chelmer Valley Wet Woodlands is a collaboration between Essex County Council, The Woodland Trust and Ground Control’s Evergreen Fund which dedicates 5% of the company’s annual net profits to environmental projects. The project also receives support from the Woodland Trust and the Forestry Commission.