Native Suffolk trees planted at Gateway 14 to aid biodiversity

20 Mar 2023

14 native trees have been planted at Gateway 14, the new business, innovation and logistics park development in Stowmarket, as part of the site’s commitment to biodiversity.

Mid Suffolk Tree Warden Richard Frost and his team of local volunteers planted a range of native species including hawthorn, crab apple, hazel, white poplar and English Oak. They are all sourced from Suffolk seeds and cuttings, and have started life in a variety of habitats including volunteers’ back gardens before being transferred to a dedicated area at Gateway 14.

The tree warden’s native tree planting is in addition to the contract being undertaken by Bury St Edmunds based Pro-Scape Ltd, providing landscaping, alongside all the principle infrastructure work on Gateway 14, including highways and green areas totalling some 70,000 sq metres of planting.

Richard Frost, said: “We are happy to have been able to contribute towards a more diverse woodland habitat at Gateway 14. It’s all about improving the treescape of Suffolk and we appreciate the support given by both Gateway 14 Ltd and its development partner Jaynic in enabling this to happen as well as Suffolk County Council which is funding this campaign.”

Jaynic, Senior Commercial Manager, Joe Clarke: “We really appreciate the work that Richard and his team of volunteers have undertaken at G14. Growing native trees from local seed and planting them within our landscape zones will add a real touch of heritage to these biodiverse spaces.”

Gateway 14, which is owned by Gateway 14 Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mid Suffolk District Council, will benefit across the whole park from a range of high-quality landscaping features such as native trees and hedgerows and sub canopy plants that will not only support wildlife but will also provide a natural visual screening from the surrounding areas and establish this as a high quality business park.

Sir Christopher Haworth, chair of Gateway 14 Ltd, said: “The introduction of a wide range of plants, shrubs and trees is part of our plan to enhance the biodiversity at Gateway 14. Working with the local community is important to us and we would like to thank Richard and the Suffolk Tree Wardens for their support in sourcing and planting these native trees.”

Cllr Suzie Morley, Mid Suffolk District Council leader, said: “It is wonderful to have support from the local community to help us meet our climate resilience ambitions and bring native trees to Gateway 14. As they grow, they will not only provide natural habitats for a range of species but will also create an appealing working environment.”

There will be over 15,500 trees, 2,200m of native hedgerow, 30,000 sq m of native buffer planting, and 62,000 sq m of wildflower meadow.  In addition to these works the local tree warden group, The Suffolk Tree Warden Network, has grown various trees and plant species from local seed which will be planted alongside landscaping work.

Proposed areas of open space include hard landscape and mown grass footpaths through orchards and wildflower meadows for access and widening out into breakout spaces too at intervals. There are also links to the wider footpath network and public open spaces, through to eventual countryside footpaths and bridleways.

Gateway 14 will retain 21,640 sq m of existing habitat and enhance a further 25,432 sq m, meeting the Government’s draft Environment Bill which requires developments to deliver 10% Biodiversity New Gain. The proposals exceed this requirement, providing 13.59% net gain for habitats and 148.65% for linear features (hedgerows).

The first unit at Gateway 14, a warehouse approaching 1.2m sq ft to be occupied by home, garden and leisure products retailer The Range, is already under construction and will create an estimated 1,650 jobs for the local area.