Around 17,000 trees will be planted across Somerset as a result of a new ‘Baby Trees’ proposal approved by Somerset County Councillors this week.

The successful Liberal Democrat Group motion will result in a tree being planted to mark the birth of every baby in Somerset over the next three years. Around 5,500 babies a year are born in the county.

The council says the action is also dedicated to those Somerset babies that are stillborn each year.

The council will work with District and Parish Councils, community groups and landowners to ensure that the trees planted are a ‘true legacy’ for the next generation.

The County Council’s Lib Dem spokesperson for resources, Cllr Liz Leyshon, pictured below, told “As one of the upper tier authorities, it is important that the County Council shows leadership and puts the Climate Emergency Action Plan in place as quickly as possible.”

Liz Leyshon

“It’s now a year since the Climate Emergency was declared at the Council and people of all ages are demanding actions to back up the fine words that were expressed at the time.”

“We recognise that there are a lot of calls on the Council’s money, but the actions we take now will affect future generations for many years to come.”

“When it comes to combating climate change, everyone has a responsibility to make a difference, however small it may seem in the bigger scheme of things.”

“The Baby Trees scheme is a good example of that – and we hope that other organisations and individuals in the County will follow our lead and plant more trees.”

However, Ms Leyshon expressed concern that more challenges lie ahead for the County because of ongoing budgetary pressures, adding: “We have residual serious concerns on funding for adult social care – not least the ability of any Council to predict the numbers of people needing support in future years and the ongoing impacts of the cuts to frontline services in September 2018.”

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