Glasgow is about to get a lot greener thanks to an ‘urban forest’
An “urban forest” will be created in Glasgow over the next decade. City councils have agreed to plant 18 million saplings, the equivalent of 10 trees per resident.
Those behind the Clyde Climate Forest (CCF) says the project would increase tree cover in the city from 17 to 20 percent. One-fifth of the city’s peripheral rural landscape will also be forested as part of the initiative.
There are an estimated 29,000 hectares of broadleaf forests (trees with flat leaves, as opposed to conifers) in Greater Glasgow. However, they have become fragmented due to urban development. CCF aims to connect these forests, providing corridors for urban wildlife.
Andrew Polson, Joint Leader of the East Dunbartonshire Council, said: “Trees are nature’s green lungs, they enhance the air we breathe and absorb harmful CO2 emissions from our environment. Expanding the forests of the Glasgow City region to create a new interconnected forest will provide many lasting benefits. “
Several studies have established links between urban tree cover and public health. Researchers behind one The project found that obesity, asthma and diabetes cases were lower in urban areas that had more trees covered. A report from Forest Research, the Forestry Commission’s research agency, found that there were often fewer trees in disadvantaged areas.
Trees are the lungs of nature, they improve the air we breathe and absorb harmful CO2.
The CCF project team said it would plant trees in deprived areas, as well as former coal mining sites around the city.
Susan Aitken, Glasgow City Council Leader, said: “The new forests, trees and community forests will bring multiple benefits to our local communities as well as wildlife. The pandemic has highlighted the value of local spaces as places to exercise, de-stress and interact with nature like never before, and this project can help achieve ecological recovery. “
The CCF’s launch comes as Glasgow prepares to host the COP26 climate summit in November, when world leaders will come under pressure to agree on measures to curb carbon emissions.
Lead Image: Artur Kraft