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New Trees to take Root at South Tyneside Park

Hundreds of new trees will take root in a leafy South Tyneside park thanks to a successful bid by local community champions.

The Friends of West Park South Shields are celebrating after securing 420 free native trees for planting following an application to the Woodland Trust.

The saplings, which are set to be delivered over the next few weeks, come thanks to support from the West Park members - Councillors Norman Dick, Anne Hetherington and Gladys Hobson - the park's volunteers groups, such as the 22nd Brownsea Beavers and Groundwork, and South Tyneside Council's Greenspace Team.

Councillor Nancy Maxwell, Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety, at South Tyneside Council, said: "Well done to the Friends of West Park on securing these trees. Trees contribute enormously to the beauty and quality of our open spaces as well as enrich the landscape of our towns.

"West Park has an abundance of beautiful mature trees and is the perfect place to enjoy a stroll. These additional trees are sure to help improve this green space, both aesthetically and environmentally."

Around 210 of the new trees - a mix of hawthorn, hazel, crab apple, downy birch, holly and goat willow - will help to enhance the park's existing woodland, which dates back to the park's creation in 1895.

Speaking on behalf of the West Park ward members, Councillor Hetherington said: "Trees have so many benefits for people and the environment, not to mention the valuable habitat they create for wildlife.

"The West Park woodland is more than 120 years old and the Friends of the park and the ward councillors are committed to extending and sustaining it so that future generations can continue to enjoy the same benefits and beauty that trees bring to our communities.

"There are also plans to enhance this further by creating a section of wildlife meadow, with hedgerow packs set to arrive from the Woodland Trust in the autumn."

Councillor Dick, who is also Chairman of the Friends of West Park South Shields, added: "We can't wait for the trees to be delivered so that we can get planting with the help of some of our fantastic volunteers groups and the wider community. They have all been extremely supportive in helping us to ensure the park continues to look at its best."

The Friends' of West Park South Shields have kindly agreed to donate the other half of the trees for planting in the grounds of Temple Memorial Park.

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