A PARISH council will plant trees to help fight climate change and improve air quality.

Calstock Parish Council has successfully applied to the “Projects That Matter” crowdfunding award through Cornwall Council.

The local council will get £1,000 to plant saplings and hedging but only so long as it can match fund the money. Within two days of launching the appeal it had raised £500.

The parish council is looking initially at sites on its own land in Gunnislake, Harrowbarrow, St Ann’s Chapel and Calstock. It plans to plant native trees, including some bearing fruit.

Councillor Alastair Tinto, who applied for the award, said: “We will create a positive natural environment on land owned by the Parish Council to combat the devastating effects of climate change.

“Engaging with communities, we will plant a rich diversity of trees, hedges and woodland, encouraging nourishment and safe spaces for wildlife including pollinators. This will help us give something back to our ecosystem.”

The Council wants to get schools, community groups and businesses involved in the “Forest for Calstock”, which will form part of the Forest for Cornwall, a project with a goal of planting around 8,000 hectares (2% of Cornwall’s land area) with new trees.

In 2019, Calstock Parish Council declared a Climate Emergency and set up an Environment and Climate Change Working Party.

The Working Party includes Parish Councillors and community members and looks for practical ways to offset damaging carbon emissions.

Councillor Dorothy Kirk explained how, within the parish of Calstock, there is an area of Gunnislake with extremely poor air quality.

“People often say: what can we do? I say, we must do something,” said Cllr Kirk.

“I cannot tell my grandchildren that I did not bother to do anything. That is why this project is so important and we need your help.”

The Council sees planting the trees as an investment in the future of the parish and its people.

“Trees reward us in so many ways. They provide many different benefits from clean air and water to the stabilisation of soil – they look after whole communities and provide artistic inspiration and beautiful landscapes.”

To find out more about the Forest for Calstock project and register an interest, visit https://www.calstockparishcouncil.gov.uk, email [email protected] or phone 01822 748847.