Barnsley’s Youth Council and Remedi Restorative Justice have successfully won an Urban Tree Fund bid from the National Forestry Commission, which has resulted in a tree planting project in Barnsley town centre. An unused piece of land on West Road in Pogmoor has been transformed into a community green space, with over 450 trees planted.
The bid was led by Barnsley’s young people, inspired by the recent results of the Make Your Mark survey, which identified environmental concerns as a key priority for young people.
The tree planting project, named “The Terrific Tree Task” by the young people involved, will run from 2020 to 2023. Over the past four months, following COVID-19 guidelines, the young people have litter picked, helped to prepare the land, and planted trees, working alongside Twiggs, staff from Remedi and Barnsley Council’s Youth Voice and Participation team. Some of the young people involved are from the Youth Council, SEND Forum and Care4Us Council.
Residents of the area are amazed at the work the young people have done, and now litter pick the site and watch over it. A community group has planted daffodil bulbs on the site to add some extra colour. There are plans for habitat boxes and a memorial bench to be made by young people in the future.
This project also expands Remedi’s options for outdoor reparation sites as part of Barnsley Council’s Youth Justice Service. It can support young offenders and allow them to put something back into their local community.
Mel John-Ross, Executive Director for Children’s Services, said: “We are so proud of our young people and this project is testament to their dedication and community spirit. They have volunteered their time and worked extremely hard to create a green space for everyone to enjoy. Lots of people and partners have worked together on this project, and it’s fantastic to see it starting to flourish.”
Mark Ward, Manager at Barnsley Remedi, said: “This bid was a cumulative effort between the Remedi Team alongside Barnsley Council’s Youth Voice and Participation team and most importantly the young people of the Youth Council.
“Thanks as well goes to Twiggs for their support in getting the trees planted swiftly, and helping the planning of the area, and providing trees covers, and supporting our young people to help plant all of the trees.
“Remedi will support the project , by further allocating the site for new reparation projects, and to ensure alongside the Youth Council, staff and community, that the area is maintained and looked after.”