A new association has committed to planting 10 trees for every man, woman and child in the Glasgow region as part of a new urban network of “forests”.
The ambitious plantation promise is called the Clyde Climate Forest initiative, and it will “breathe new life” into the eight local authorities in Scotland’s largest city.
The 18 million trees to be planted over the next decade will increase forest cover in the region from 17% to 20%.
The Green Network of Glasgow & Clyde Valley, founded in 2007, is leading the way in helping the city demonstrate its commitment to achieving Net Zero, as Glasgow hosts the next UN annual conference on climate change, COP26, in November.
In Inverclyde, the first saplings were planted by Council Leader Stephen McCabe, who, along with volunteers from the Friends of Coves Community Nature Reserve group, agreed that ‘we must do everything we can to protect our planet.’
“The pandemic has highlighted like never before the value of local spaces as places to exercise, de-stress and interact with nature,” said Susan Aitken, Head of Glasgow City Council.
There are about 112 square miles (29k ha) of hardwood forests in the region, but they are fragmented due to urban development. The new plantation aims to connect these forests and help restore nature and boost biodiversity.
The right tree in the right place, while reducing the pest
The project team aims to focus on areas of deprivation (former coal mining sites, vacant and abandoned land and urban streets), but will operate on the principle of planting “the right tree in the right place”.
They are also asking community groups and land managers to help identify places to plant new trees or replace those that have been lost in the past.
Work is also beginning to encourage smaller landowners and local authorities by providing free forest assessments to identify potential new areas to be covered with trees.
“Trees are nature’s green lungs, they enhance the air we breathe and absorb harmful CO2 emissions from our environment,” said Council Member Andrew Polson, President of the City Region Land Use and Sustainability Portfolio. from Glasgow.
“We all have a fantastic opportunity to work collectively to improve our living environment while addressing climate change at the same time.”
This is the first time in Scotland, with eight local authorities working together with the government and other partners on a major forest creation initiative, but the nation of Scotland has not lagged behind when it comes to reforestation.
That carried the UK on his green shoulders in 2018 when England missed its tree planting goals, but Scotland surpassed theirs by planting 22 million new trees.
Most of the forest planting will be funded through Scottish Forestry’s various grant schemes, but also through funding mechanisms that the Clyde Climate Forest it can leverage on its own.
For example, the project secured a £ 400,000 grant from the Woodland Trust Emergency Tree Fund. Individuals and community groups can also donate to the Clyde Climate Forest project, here.
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