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Growing a greener Manchester with 64,000 new trees on the horizon

Students at St Willibrord’s RC Primary School have joined Manchester's tree-planting mission, marking the city's commitment to a greener future.

In a heartwarming display of community and environmental stewardship, pupils at St Willibrord’s RC Primary School in Clayton have been among the fortunate beneficiaries of Manchester’s remarkable tree planting campaign.

The city, committed to enhancing its urban forest, has embarked on a mission to foster greener neighbourhoods through an impressive initiative.

The Legacy of 125,000 Trees: Manchester’s Tree Planting Journey

For over a decade and a half, the Manchester City Council, in collaboration with partner organisations like City of Trees and the Orchard Project, has been nurturing the city’s tree canopy.

Since the launch of Manchester’s first tree strategy in 2005, they have successfully planted more than 125,000 trees and tree hedges.

This includes the establishment of 125 community orchards and fruit tree groves, creating pockets of greenery throughout the urban landscape.

Planting for Progress: 745 Trees to Bloom in the Coming Months

This year, the Council is dedicated to adding an additional 745 trees within the next six months, furthering their commitment to greening the city.

At the heart of this planting effort are the young learners of St Willibrord’s RC Primary School, where six new fruit trees—two apple, two cherry, and two plum trees—were lovingly planted this week, providing a fruitful legacy for generations to come.

Carl McIver, Head teacher of St Willibrord’s RC Primary School, said: “Developing our school grounds is a high priority for St Willibrord’s and we are delighted with the support we have been given by Manchester City Council to begin the planting of our orchard.

“As a school we are always looking at how we can educate our children about our environment and how we can support it. We see the planting of these trees as the beginning of a fantastic ongoing project to use our own school grounds and the local environment to support our planet.

“We are very much looking forward to being able to sample our St Willibrord’s fruit and it becoming part of our healthy food menu.

“Our pupils are excited about the opportunity to care and nurture for these new trees.”

A Vision for the Future: Manchester’s 10-Year Tree and Woodland Action Plan

The city’s ambitious 10-year Tree and Woodland Action Plan, up for consideration at the Environment, Climate Change, and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee on November 9th, sets forth a vision to enhance Manchester’s tree cover.

In line with this, a council-commissioned study, “Growing Manchester’s Trees,” has recognised the potential to increase the city’s tree canopy from its current level of nearly 19% to an impressive 22%.

Growing a Greener Manchester: The Collaborative Effort Ahead

To make this vision a reality, the draft Tree and Woodland Action Plan envisions collaborative efforts between the Council, organisations, and stakeholders across the city.

It is estimated that achieving this goal will necessitate the planting of 64,000 new trees, which is equivalent to adding 320 hectares of additional tree cover—imagine an area the size of 600 football pitches!

Engaging the Community: Seeking Support and Involvement

Realising this ambition calls for collective action, including seeking support from sources like the Government’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund.

Furthermore, Manchester residents will have the opportunity to contribute to and influence the new Tree and Woodland Action Plan.

This initiative will complement the Council’s existing Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy, designed to promote and safeguard green open spaces and waterways.

A Shared Vision: Councillor Tracey Rawlins on the Importance of Trees

Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment, expressed her enthusiasm for the tree-planting efforts, emphasising the myriad benefits of trees beyond combating climate change.

She pointed out their role in carbon storage, flood risk reduction, habitat provision for wildlife, and their contribution to the overall appeal of neighbourhoods.

Councillor Rawlins noted, “Tens of thousands of trees have been planted since we first started looking at this issue strategically, and we now have a better understanding than ever of where our trees are and where more are needed.

Now we want to work with residents and organisations in the city to support the planting of even more.”

Nurturing the Future: St Willibrord’s RC Primary School’s Commitment

Carl McIver, the Headteacher of St Willibrord’s RC Primary School, shared the school’s excitement about the tree-planting initiative, highlighting their commitment to educating children about the environment.

He sees this project as the beginning of a fantastic, ongoing effort to use the school’s grounds and the local environment to support the planet.

The pupils are eagerly looking forward to caring for and nurturing these new trees, which will undoubtedly become a source of pride and an integral part of their school community.

In the heart of Manchester, these saplings of hope are sowing the seeds for a greener, more sustainable future, and they symbolise the city’s unwavering dedication to preserving its natural beauty and enhancing its urban environment.

As the city embraces this green revolution, the future of Manchester is looking brighter than ever.

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