Loughborough Echo

A tree to be planted for every person in county



AN ambitious plan to make Leicesters­hire greener will see the planting of 700,000 trees – one for every resident in the county.

The move will take the numbers of Leicesters­hire County Council-managed trees to more than a million, boosting biodiversi­ty and supporting a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2030.

Leicesters­hire is one of the least wooded areas of the country, with around 6 per cent of the county under woodland – below the national average of 10 per cent.

Currently, the council says that it manages around 321,000 trees but diseases such as ash dieback are threatenin­g our woodlands.

The authority’s strategy and action plan, adopted in May last year, has seen the number of trees across the county improving.

The council has said the National Forest has increased forest cover in the north west of the county to 21 per cent, and is something the council hopes to replicate elsewhere in towns, villages, farms, parks and the design of new housing and employment developmen­ts.

A spokespers­on for the council has said that trees and woodlands play an important role in cleaning up the environmen­t, providing clean air, improving soil quality and reducing flooding.

Not only will the environmen­t benefit, but the council says that research shows that a walk among trees can improve mental wellbeing and reduce levels of stress.

Council leader Nick Rushton said: “Trees and woodlands enhance our quality of life: they support wildlife, help combat climate change and add beauty to our towns, villages and countrysid­e. But they face unpreceden­ted challenges.

“We want to protect and enhance Leicesters­hire’s trees and woodlands so that they will continue to benefit future generation­s.”

Councillor Blake Pain said: “The need for increased tree cover, both globally and locally, is well documented as a major action to mitigate climate change and we are determined to take action now to ensure future generation­s can enjoy the wide-ranging benefits brought by trees and woodlands.”

Applicatio­ns for funding have been sent by the council to the Forestry Commission to help develop tree-planting projects and enable sustainabl­e woodland management.

The council currently provides a free tree scheme for farmers and landowners, working closely with the Woodland Trust to provide tree packs for planting projects.

 ??  ?? GREEN SCHEME: County council leader Nick Rushton
GREEN SCHEME: County council leader Nick Rushton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom