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Thousands of trees have been planted across Aberdeen while Glasgow’s Clyde Climate Forest has received a £200,000 funding boost from the eight local councils.

The Scottish cities of Aberdeen and Glasgow have made significant announcements in their aims to increase tree populations.

Thousands of trees have been planted across Aberdeen as part of a plan to replenish and grow the city’s woods and other green areas, while Glasgow’s Clyde Climate Forest (CCF) has received a £200,000 funding boost from the eight local councils across the Glasgow City Region.

Aberdeen’s storm recovery

Aberdeen City Council has set an objective to plant one million more trees between 2022 and 2032. A progress report for Members of the Net Zero, Environment and Transport Committee outlined work by the Environmental Services team through several schemes, including The Community Tree Planting Scheme, Street Tree Planting, The Queen’s Green Canopy Champion City and Woodside Wee Forest, as well as recovery work following Storms Arwen, Malik, and Corrie.

A community tree planting scheme delivered by the Environmental Services team in partnership with communities saw over 20,000 trees planted across the city in 2021 and 2022. In addition, a commitment to plant new and replacement street trees has seen more than 800 trees planted in 2021-2022.

In February 2022 City Growth and Resources Committee had agreed to set aside £500,000 for the council to deal with the storm damage.

Council co-leader councillor Ian Yuill said: “It is great to see the progress being made to increase Aberdeen’s tree population. The storms had a devastating impact on our natural spaces, and it is important that the council continue its efforts to replace lost trees and plant even more trees across Aberdeen.

“Every single new and replacement tree planted is a step closer to the council’s objective of planting one million trees in Aberdeen by 2032.”

The Tree and Woodland Strategic Implementation Plan was approved by the former Operational Delivery Committee in June 2022. Work is currently ongoing to deliver priority two of the plan which aims to identify the best and most suitable sites for woodland creation in the city.

Aberdeen was previously selected as one of the Queen’s Green Canopy Champion Cities, a unique tree planting initiative which invites people from across the United Kingdom to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’ to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year.

The first “Wee Forest” was planted in Aberdeen in March 2022 thanks to the joint efforts of Aberdeen City Council’s Environmental Services team, NatureScot, and pupils and staff of Woodside Primary School. Around 600 native trees were planted by Wee Foresters in an area the size of a tennis court.

Clyde Climate Forest

The funding for the Clyde Climate Forest has been approved by the Glasgow City Region Cabinet as part of a dedicated allocation from each of the member councils’ UK Government Shared Prosperity Funding.

“The Clyde Climate Forest has the potential to provide a significant response to the climate and ecological emergency,” said councillor Susan Aitken, chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet and leader of Glasgow City Council. “Our ambition to plant 18 million trees across the City Region over the next decade will bring multiple benefits to our local communities, to Scotland and to our planet.

“This funding support will certainly help drive that ambition forward.”

The Shared Prosperity Fund is part of the UK Government’s central mission to level up opportunity and prosperity. It is also about levelling up people’s pride in the place they love, creating a stronger social fabric and better life chances.

In addition, the councils also formally pledged to help deliver the CCF’s 18 million trees over the next decade as part of a Concordat agreement to help tackle both the climate and biodiversity emergencies. In particular, the councils have committed to identify tree planting sites in urban areas vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, to facilitate tree planting in these target neighbourhoods and to align council resources with CCF resources.

Added to the funding boost from the eight councils in the Region, Scottish Forestry has also confirmed its commitment to continued support of the CCF’s ambitions with an extra £70,000 of funding.

The council said the new trees will help soak up rainwater in downpours, create cooling effects in heatwaves and provide vital wildlife habitat. They have also committed to identify land holdings appropriate for woodland creation as part of their plans to achieve net zero.

“Delivering the change at scale required for our regional tree, woodland and forest resource can only be achieved with a committed resource sustained over a long period,” said Max Hislop, director of Clyde Climate Forest. “This funding helps the CCF in its decade long pursuit of ambitious tree planting targets.”

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Quelle/Source: Smart Cities World, 10.05.2023

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