In light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation, our primary responsibility is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers, partners and the general public, and so we will continue to take our lead from the government's expert advisers in regards to our working practices.
The Covid-19 pandemic is highlighting the essential role that high-quality green spaces play in our daily lifestyles, particularly in urban settings - never before has the value of urban green space been more apparent. Trees for Cities supports and encourages accessing green spaces during this time, providing social distancing is carefully observed.
During last winter’s planting season, we completed all projects that had been scheduled for planting up until mid-March. In line with government guidance, we had to suspend activity for the remainder of March and for April, and therefore delay tree planting activities scheduled for this period. These projects are planned to be delivered as soon as possible this season (October onwards).
We fully intend to run a full programme of projects this planting season (October to April) and have been working with our partners and funders to develop, design and prepare for delivery of these projects over the coming months.
Despite best efforts, the unique, challenging conditions of COVID-19 have had an impact - especially towards the end of the last planting season. When combined with a long period of hot weather last spring, this led to a higher rate of losses than we would typically expect.
However, we continue to work with partners to ensure that all trees under our watering and maintenance responsibility will be adequately and appropriately cared for and will undertake any necessary replanting where needed in line with our project agreements.
We will undertake these activities in line with the government's Covid-19 ground maintenance requirements and regulations.
We are continuing to develop and design new projects over this current period. The Engagement team are liaising with our partner schools to provide them with online and distance support and resources.
We are working closely with our partners to advise and support them through this period.
Following a period of suspension at the end of last season, we are now working with local communities and corporate volunteers to begin reduced activity planting events and workshops. All activity will ensure that we continue to follow industry advice and adhere to government guidance in regards to gatherings and social distancing.
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the supporters, funders and partners who are helping us through this difficult period. Your invaluable support will allow us to continue to drive forward our work as soon as feasibly possible and to minimise the longer term impact to our organisation – so that we can continue to make our towns and cities greener and healthier for future generations.