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City of York Council hits tree planting milestone

Almost 2,500 new trees have been planted as part of the council’s Green Streets© project.

Working with local schools, parish councils and other stakeholders, trees have been planted along Malton Road and at Melrosegate Park, Huntington Environment Park, Carr Infants School, Lakeside Primary Academy, Burton Green Primary and seven other school sites.

This first year of planting has been fully-funded by grants totalling £168,000 from the White Rose Forest and Forestry Commission. The grants also provide for three years aftercare, helping the new trees thrive.

The work stems from a commitment made in the City of York Council's Council Plan, 'One City, for all' approved by full council in September 2023 to plant 4,000 new trees in York’s urban area, building on the 250,000 trees already planted in the award-winning York Community Woodland.

Trees deliver a range of environmental and other benefits, including enhanced biodiversity and air quality, storing of residual carbon in the atmosphere, providing urban shade in the face of rising global temperatures, flood alleviation and improved access to green space.

The council is now working to deliver even more trees during the next tree planting season between October 2024 and March 2025, subject to successful funding bids. 

This will include two new biodiversity rich ‘micro-woods’ already supported by a £40,000 Forestry Commission grant. Work is currently underway to identify the location of these new woods following a successful public call-out for ideas earlier this year.

Cllr Jenny Kent, Joint Executive Member for Environment and Climate Emergency, said:

“We promised to plant 4,000 new trees across the city last May. Planting over half that - 2,500 new trees - within the first year, is a fantastic achievement, and testament to the hard work and determination of all involved, especially during months of seemingly endless wet weather.

"Increasing the tree canopy cover in York is difficult due to the density of utility cables underground, but the health benefits of shade, cooling and air quality in a changing climate are well documented, as is the need for more biodiversity, and we would love to see trees on streets wherever possible.

"We always welcome ideas about where new trees could go, and would love you all - residents, schools, parish and town councils and all type of landowners and managers - to get in touch with suggested sites for our second year of the Green Streets programme”

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