NINE hundred trees will be planted in Chard and Martock thanks to the Forestry Commission’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund.

South Somerset District Council (SSDC) has been awarded the funding to plant 500 trees in Chard and 400 in Martock.

In this second round of Government grants, 7,800 trees will be planted in the South West.

Sir William Worsley, chair of the Forestry Commission, said: “Community tree planting is a passion of mine, which is why I am so excited to see projects like these benefitting from our Urban Tree Challenge Fund.

“Trees give life to our streets and our parks, help improve the health of communities and provide homes for precious wildlife, and the thousands of new trees that will be planted will bring many benefits for generations to come.”

Nine South West projects led by community and volunteer groups, councils and individuals, were awarded a share of the £10million.

The announcement means there will be a total of up to 134,000 new trees planted across England’s towns and cities. This surpasses the fund’s original target to plant 130,000 trees.

Forestry Minister Lord Goldsmith explained trees play a “crucial role” in the “fight against the climate and biodiversity loss”.

“In urban areas they can link up our valuable green spaces and connect local communities with nature – something which has never been so important,” he added.

“Ahead of our forthcoming England Tree Strategy, and to complement our manifesto ambition to have every new street lined with trees, the success of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund provides a fantastic example of how trees can be planted, managed and enjoyed, wherever you live.”

In the South West, 4,800 trees will be planted across four projects in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

This includes 3,450 trees in Poole and nearly 1,000 across two sites in Christchurch, where the planting of native species will provide a natural buffer for traffic noise and pollution and a refuge for wildlife.

Also in Dorset, 320 trees will be planted in Links Road, Weymouth.

The other South West beneficiaries include Cheltenham (1,000) and Newquay Community Orchard (750).