The meeting was held at the Civic Centre on Monday 14 November 2016
The chair welcomed the 30 people present. In a swift AGM the existing committee were re-elected, and others encouraged to join. The next meeting of the committee is fixed for January 16th at 8 Edgecombe Rd, 7.45 pm. The chair congratulated the new webmaster Mark Ashdown on the new web site at www.bristoltreeforum.org.
Richard Ennion, Horticultural Service Manager at Bristol City Council, then outlined the way in which the One Tree per Child programme is spreading across Britain, and that other nations are also interested. There has been an event in the Lords, and an international conference, and Bristol is very much in the lead.
The aim is to ensure every child has the experience of planting a tree. Some 39,000 trees had been planted last winter and it is intended to plant another 6,000 this winter for the new entrants. Some 14,000 fruit trees had been taken home by children, and every primary school in the city had been involved. He said that he was pleased that there had been no serious problems of tree survival or of vandalism.
A discussion followed about the protocol for replacing trees that had been felled, especially in streets. There was concern about the accuracy of stump maps, and Mark Ashdown and John Tarlton were working on this. The cost of a replacement tree in an existing site was £295. The sponsorship system introduced by Trees Bristol was not perfect, but did work. Concerns were expressed about use of former pits by Wessex Water for meters, and some lack of joined-up action with highways, and Metrobus.
Teresa Crichton outlined a programme of events has been drawn up for the rest of this year, and the existence of a training programme and a system of checking trees that had been planted. Support for One Tree per Child events would be very welcome.
Stephanie French outlined the system for checking planning applications, and saving existing trees from being felled. She urged those present to take up the challenge in their area. She had drawn up a guidance document that was on the website, and offered help.
Volunteers needed. Anyone wanting to join the committee, or who is prepared to check planning applications, or who is prepared to be the Tree Representative for a Neighbourhood forum please contact us using our web Contact page.
The chair concluded by thanking, in particular, the council officers and Councillors who had given up their time to support and advise the forum.