In light of the ongoing Covid-19 situation, Trees for Cities has temporarily suspended its onsite operations and redeployed its staff teams to work from a home environment.
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. Trees for Cities supports and encourages accessing green spaces during this time, providing social distancing is carefully observed.
Never before has the value of urban green space been more apparent. It is vital, therefore, that when the situation allows we are in a position to restart our operations and minimise, as much as possible, any loss in momentum to our work on the ground.
This planting season, we completed all projects that had been scheduled for planting up until mid-March. In line with government guidance, we have had to suspend activity for the remainder of March and for April, and therefore delay tree planting activities scheduled for this period. These projects will be delivered as soon as possible at the start of next season (October onwards).
We fully intend to deliver a full programme of planting projects in the next planting season (October to April) and will be working with our partners and funders to develop, design and prepare for implementation of these projects over the coming months.
We will ensure that all trees under our watering and maintenance responsibility will be adequately and appropriately cared for over the spring and summer months. We will undertake these activities in line with the government's Covid-19 ground maintenance requirements and regulations.
In light of school closures, we have temporarily withdrawn our project teams from school grounds. We are liaising with our partner schools to provide them with online and distance support and resources. We are continuing to develop and design new projects over this current period, and as soon as the situation permits we will restart our onsite delivery.
We are working closely with our partners to advise and support them through this period. We are recommending that our delivery partners and their contractors adhere to similar practices as those we have adopted.
We have suspended community and corporate volunteer events, but are keeping in contact with our vital network of volunteers and supporters. We will aim to restart such events as soon as the situation allows, ensuring that we continue to adhere to government advice 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.