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Major tree planting project given the go-ahead in Abingdon

Over a thousand new trees will be planted in the Vale of White Horse, boosting local efforts to tackle climate change.

Vale of White Horse District Council has just granted a community application for approximately 1,500 trees in Abingdon.  Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and so play a vital role in helping to reduce local emissions. 

The application from Abingdon Carbon Cutters is the first to be approved following the launch of the council’s new tree planting policy, which outlines how the Vale will support local tree planting initiatives as well as how it will protect, plant and manage trees on council land.

Abingdon Carbon Cutters will plant the first 420 trees at Rye Farm Meadow, near the River Thames, this weekend, providing residents of Abingdon with a woodland walk on their doorstep.

The project will take place over the next three planting seasons and will see a mixture of hazel, crab apple, downy birch, hawthorn, and goat willow trees added to the area.

The Vale is expecting to grant a further application in the coming days for Wantage and councillors are now urging more groups to come forward with proposals for planting trees on council land across the district – for more information visit

Cllr Catherine Webber, Cabinet Member for Climate Emergency and Environment at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “Tackling climate change is one of the biggest challenges we face. Planting significant numbers of new trees in the Vale will not only help us towards meeting our climate change “net zero” targets, but also support the health of our residents.

“It’s great to see local groups coming forward with applications to plant trees in the district.  It’s a real example of our communities coming together and working with us to tackle climate, and I urge many more people to get involved.  Trees not only help to remove carbon from the atmosphere but also help to reduce the risk of flooding and to provide important space for wildlife.”

Sally Reynolds, from Abingdon Carbon Cutters, said: “We are delighted that the Vale has worked on simplifying the process of giving permission to plant trees, and have tried to make it user-friendly for local community groups.

“So many people have helped us to get to this point. The Woodland Trust donated all the trees, the tree guards are repurposed from nearby Besselsleigh Woods, and Oxford Wood Recycling and CAG Oxfordshire funded tree stakes. Local residents have registered to help plant the trees and we are holding our first tree planting event on 26 February, from 10am – if you are free this Saturday and would like to join in, please email”

Notes for editors:

Tackling the climate emergency is a major priority for the Vale which is aiming to become carbon neutral within its own operations by 2030.

The Vale’s new Climate Action Plan  outlines the steps the council will take to achieve this aim, as well as how it will support local efforts to tackle the climate emergency.  This includes identifying sites for new tree planting and wilding opportunities on council land or through partnership opportunities on privately owned land to support natural carbon capture.

Abingdon Carbon Cutters is a Community Action Group working in Abingdon and surrounding villages to help reduce our carbon footprint in response to climate change, and promote sustainable and resilient lifestyles. We are part of the newly formed OnePlanetAbingdon consortium which runs the Climate Emergency Centre supported by Abingdon Town Council.  For more information, please visit