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Gloucestershire Business News

Council staff volunteer to do their bit for the environment

Caring staff members from Stroud District Council rolled up their sleeves and pulled on their wellies to help prevent flooding and improve the natural environment.

In a joint event involving Stroud District Council and the Environment Agency, staff from both organisations volunteered time to plant trees at a farm in Painswick.

In five hours, 23 volunteers planted 900 hedgerow trees and 22 large traditional orchard trees, and constructed deer guards for the orchard.

The aim of the project was sequestration - the trapping of carbon - as well as providing food and pollinators, while helping with flood management.

Natural flood management measures have been introduced in the Painswick Valley to enhance and protect the watercourse and slow flows during heavy rain.

The council's rural sustainable urban drainage project office Rosemary McCloskey worked alongside a Painswick Valley landowner for the scheme.

She said: "Working in partnership with the landowner and with the Environment Agency's Biodiversity Officer we were able to identify a suitable site to plant cross slope hedgerow to intercept overland flow and improve infiltration as well as selecting trees that would provide benefit for pollinators and create priority habitat for biodiversity.

Every year, council employees may volunteer for work which benefits the community, for three days.

One of the authority's five key priorities in its Corporate Delivery Plan is to help minimise its carbon footprint, adapt to the changing environment and continue to improve recycling rates.

The Environment Agency's Biodiversity Technical Officer Carly Kimber said: "It was a really successful event and a great opportunity to work together.

"Hopefully everyone went away with some new skills and knowledge, and the project will provide benefit to the local environment for years to come."

The council's Environment Committee chair Simon Pickering added: "This is really excellent work. It's great to see the right species of trees planted in the right places.

"This project will provide a multiple ecosystem service for the planet for the next hundred years."

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