Trees planted on Filwood Broadway to “increase canopy”

Main image and below: Trees being planted on the green at Filwood Broadway. Pictures James Smith.

Ten trees have appeared on Filwood Broadway this week – as part of a scheme to plant 590 street trees across the city and “transform neighbourhoods.”

Bristol’s Greenstreets, funded by the Forestry Commission, will see 59 wards with low tree cover, including Filwood, given up to ten trees each.

People living nearby have been consulted about the position and species of trees they would like.

It is also hoped volunteers from the communities will be involved in looking after the trees – with seven planted on the green in front of Filwood Community Centre and three opposite the library.

Bristol City Council has been working with the Forest of Avon Trust and Bristol Tree Forum on the project.

The benefits of having more trees in local streets include slowing down climate warming – as trees absorb carbon dioxide – improving air quality and reducing local flooding.

They also provide shade on hot days, encourage wildlife and improve wellbeing.

Filwood Tree Champion, Jim Smith, who has been involved in the project, says: “Filwood, as well as suffering deprivation, has low tree canopy cover, as have other areas, also chosen. 

“Research has shown, that trees are good for mental and physical health, as well as for the environment.

“My role as Filwood Tree Champion was to leaflet Filwood Broadway regarding this scheme and liaise on the day…”

Trees planted include a Himalayan birch, a holly and a katsura – which has autumnal colour and gives off a scent of ‘burnt sugar’.

The different types have been selected as they have smaller leaves, so they won’t block out large amounts of sunlight and shallower roots to not cause subsidence.

They join the existing trees on the site, including two magnolias planted last year by the council’s One Tree per Child Project, after Jim secured a £100 grant from Knowle West Alliance.

In Bristol’s One City Plan launched in January 2019, the council pledged to double the city’s tree canopy by 2046.

Some of the new trees planted near the play park on Filwood Broadway.

Tree Officer for Tree Bristol and One Tree Per Child, John Atkinson, says: “These were planted using funds from the Urban Tree Challenge Fund from DEFRA / Forestry Commission.

“We were really pleased to plant these in Filwood with help from our friends at the Forest of Avon Trust and local Tree Champion Jim Smith.

“We’d love to have help maintaining the trees and we will be in touch with everyone who said they could help through the consultation process…”

For information on the Greenstreets project visit: www.forestofavontrust.org/projects/bristols-greenstreets

If you would like to get involved in the care of the trees, contact Anna Brunton by emailing woodlands@forestofavontrust.org