New North East Community Forest set to take shape at a former golf course to support the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Thousands of trees are set to be planted at a former golf course as part of plans to create a North East Community Forest and support the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

Thursday, 21st April 2022, 2:46 pm

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The former Elemore golf course in Hetton is set to bounce back to life with the planting of over 15,000 native trees and shrubs over the coming months.

When the plans are complete, the “Elemore Green Space and Social Enterprise Development”, which is being led by the Elemore Park project, will be home to various businesses.

These include a cafe, a garden centre that will grow vegetables and plants, a visitor and exhibition centre and a series of “pocket forests” that will be owned by schools and community groups.

From left: Lloyd Jones (North East Community Forest), Councillor Claire Rowntree, Mayoress Dorothy Truman, The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Harry Truman, Wing Commander David L Harris, James Blackburn and Clive Greenwood.

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On Tuesday, March 22, the first of the trees was planted by the Mayor of Sunderland, Cllr Harry Trueman, who was joined by Wing Commander David L Harris DL, RAFAC, as well as by the Mayoress Cllr Dorothy Trueman and local Hetton ward councillors.

Cllr Claire Rowntree, deputy leader of Sunderland City Council and ward councillor for Hetton, hopes that the former golf course can become a popular destination for people across Wearside to socialise.

She said: “We’ve been working closely with residents over the past 18 months or so to shape our plans to transform the golf course site into ‘Elemore Park’.

The Mayor of Sunderland Councillor Harry Truman (left) and Wing Commander David L Harris hold the ceremonial spade they used to plant a tree.

"It will not only see the area restored to its natural beauty, but also become a popular destination where residents can meet and socialise.

“At the heart of this are plans to turn the former clubhouse into a community-run café, garden centre, visitor centre and community space, with the garden centre and café also supporting training for adults with disabilities.

“So it’s great to see so many members of the community signing up to get involved in the tree planting which, along with this development, will see us really bring this much-loved area back to life.”

The event was one of many planting ceremonies taking place as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy which is an initiative running across the UK that invites people to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.

Cllr Harry Trueman, Mayor of Sunderland, highlighted that the project will contribute towards making Sunderland carbon neutral by 2040.

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He commented: “The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee is a truly momentous occasion and we’re proud as a city to be playing a key part in marking the event by participating in the Queen’s Green Canopy.

“As a city, Sunderland has made a commitment to become carbon neutral by 2040 and initiatives like this will play an important part in helping us achieve our ambitions.”

On Friday, March 25, members of the local community will be taking part in a planting event that will see 570 trees added to the site with further events to follow.

If you want further information on Sunderland City Council’s Low Carbon Framework, then you can visit: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/lowcarbon.

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