Zero Chippenham Tree Planting – Carbon offset Scheme

We are delighted to announce the launch of our Tree Planting and Carbon Offset Scheme, designed to give local people the opportunity to contribute towards local tree planting, in order to help combat dangerous climate change.

The project involves local farmers and land owners collaborating with Zero Chippenham to enable trees to be planted on less productive or unproductive areas of land (e.g. corners of fields). The cost of purchasing, protecting and maintaining the trees will be covered by people paying to offset emissions associated with flights and annual commuting. The scheme will be administered by Zero Chippenham and the planting and maintenance of the trees will be undertaken by volunteers. The emphasis will be on only offsetting emissions that cannot be readily avoided.

We are launching the scheme this month with the aim of planting the first of two ‘tree plantings’ per year, starting with a target of 4ha. or 6,000 trees to be planted next year in February and March 2020.  Each tree planted under the scheme is expected to offset approximately 1 tonne of carbon over a 40 year period.

What you need to do

From 30th November, we would like people to express interest in offsetting carbon emissions through the scheme.  Please note, this should be for flights and commuting that could not readily be avoided (e.g. by taking more sustainable modes of travel), as our scheme is not intended to abdicate responsibility for not cutting emissions in the first place.

If you wish to express interest please contact us via our website contact page

Once agreements are in place with local land owners, we will get back in touch to finalise the offset quantity and arrange payment, based on calculating how many trees are required to offset the individual’s or family’s particular emissions. Contact will be made on a first come, first served basis, according to when interest was logged with us.

How the scheme works

The project will be run by volunteers and it is a not for profit scheme intended to support Zero Chippenham’s aim of achieving zero carbon for Chippenham and its local villages by 2030, in line with the Climate Emergency.  Over time we will enhance our online guidance and support, and increase the visibility of the work that’s being undertaken.

  • Members of the public calculate the miles associated with their flights and/ or annual commute;
  • Zero Chippenham calculates the associated emissions based on mode of transport;
  • Landowners pledge land to be made available for the life of a tree (we are using 40 years as a guide);
  • The trees are planted in 0.1 Hectare pockets in a variety of locations chosen to compliment the landscape and the pattern of current and projected land use, as well as increase biodiversity;
  • The types of trees planted will depend on the location and will include a mix of native trees and potentially some orchard varieties, taking account of guidance given by the Woodland Trust and other professional bodies;
  • The trees will be purchased, planted and maintained by volunteers and people making offsets have the option to volunteer to help plant them;
  • The trees will be planted, fenced, tree guarded, grass trimmed and maintained as appropriate, to ensure they have the best chance of long-term growth;
  • A sample of the trees will be inspected at regular intervals by an independent expert to verify they are growing as expected and underpin the integrity of the scheme.

Note for participants:

All the trees will be planted locally and the scheme will be verified to ensure offsetting donations are linked to actual trees planted. By planting the right species in the right places on land that would not otherwise be planted on, Zero Chippenham will ensure that carbon dioxide is absorbed and stored as biomass, helping to mitigate global warming, as well as providing benefits such as cleaner air, more attractive landscapes and enhanced habitats for biodiversity.

This is a local project, run and operated by volunteers as a not for profit initiative and will commence in a basic form without the polish and presentation of other schemes. It will however give you a chance to help tackle the climate emergency by offsetting some of your harder to tackle emissions through trees planted and visible locally.  

There is of course no guarantee that specific trees will survive for their projected life but overall, trees will be maintained and replaced as necessary to match the quantity of carbon that needs to be sequestered through agreed offsetting.  In time, the scheme will become more formalised and we will work with landowners to make locations as visible and accessible to the public as possible.

We look forward to your participation in the scheme and your support is very much appreciated!

Useful facts about re-forestation

Only 13% of the UK’s land mass is covered in trees (3.19million hectares) vs average of 33% elsewhere in Europe and 34% in USA.

In England it is just 10% and disappointingly in Wiltshire it is only 10.2% according to Woodland Trust.

25m2 of woodland can store 1 tonne of carbon a year

Benefits of tree planting

Sequesters (absorbs) carbon dioxide a dangerous greenhouse gas which is currently measuring 412ppm in our atmosphere (May 2019)

Rebuilds habitats for animals and other wildlife

Reduces pollution

Provides food (e.g. orchards)

Provides shelter and cool spaces

Enhances wellbeing and mental state

Reduces soil erosion

Can help reduce flooding

More attractive to visitors to the area

Great for kids adventures and den building