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Wellness & Nature

18 Million Trees Are Being Planted Across Glasgow To Tackle Climate Change

Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd - Staff Writer

18 Million Trees Are Being Planted Across Glasgow To Tackle Climate Change

The project hopes to plant 10 trees for every resident over the next decade.

Around 18 million trees will be planted in Glasgow to form an urban ‘forest’ over the next 10 years, with the aim of helping to tackle climate change. This ambitious planting pledge lies at the heart of the new Clyde Climate Forest (CCF), which is part of the city region’s commitment to reaching Net Zero.

The Clyde Climate Forest project hopes to increase tree cover in urban areas of Glasgow from 17% to 20% and ensure that a fifth of the region’s rural landscape is forested or planted with native woodland. Ten trees will be planted for every man, woman, and child in the Glasgow City Region as part of this new urban ‘forest’.

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The project team also aims to plant trees in areas of deprivation, former coalmining sites, vacant and derelict land, urban streets and other civic places. Glasgow City currently has around 29,000 hectares of broadleaved woodland in the region, but they are fragmented due to urban development. The new planting aims to connect these woodlands and help restore nature and boost biodiversity.

Launching the initiative Cllr Susan Aitken, Chair of Glasgow City Region Cabinet and Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “New community woodlands, trees and forests will bring multiple benefits to our local communities as well as wildlife. The pandemic has brought into focus like never before the value of local spaces as places to exercise, de-stress and engage with nature and this project can help to deliver the Green Recovery. The economic, ecological and social benefits will be extensive.”

Community groups and land managers are being asked to help identify places to plant new trees, or replace those lost in the past. Work is also beginning to encourage smaller landowners and local authorities to gear up for tree planting. They are being offered free woodland assessments to help them identify potential new areas to be greened up with trees.

The move is being viewed as an ideal opportunity for Glasgow City Region to demonstrate its commitment to reaching Net Zero, as it hosts COP26 in November.

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Cllr Andrew Polson, Joint Leader of East Dunbartonshire Council and Chair of the Land Use and Sustainability Portfolio for Glasgow City Region, said: “Trees are nature’s own green lungs, improving the air that we breathe and soaking up harmful CO2 emissions from our environment. Expanding Glasgow City Region’s woodlands to create a new inter-connected forest will provide many lasting benefits.”

Mairi McAllan, Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform said: “Tree planting is key to tackling the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss and there is tremendous support for it across Scotland. The Clyde Climate Forest taps into this and the benefits will last for generations.”

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Businesses and other organisations can invest in the Clyde Climate Forest if they sign up to a new charter that demonstrates their commitment to reducing emissions across their business supporting the fight against climate change.

The Clyde Climate Forest is being delivered as part of the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network, with support from Green Action Trust, TCV, Glasgow City Region, Trees for Cities, Scottish Forestry and Woodland Trust Scotland. Individuals and community groups can also donate to the Clyde Climate Forest project here.

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