A programme of tree planting is taking place in Calderdale, with over 100 new trees planted over the last month and more planned over the coming months and years.
The benefits of tree planting are well documented; they absorb carbon dioxide and improve air quality, plus they can assist in the prevention of flooding, encourage wildlife, improve soil condition and provide health and wellbeing benefits.
As part of Calderdale Council’s work to tackle the climate emergency, Council-owned land around the borough is being identified for tree planting to take place. The first stage of this took place recently at Range Bank at Boothtown, outside Halifax town centre.
Range Bank overlooks the A58, New Bank, which has recently been declared as an Air Quality Management Area. Nine countryside volunteers helped to plant around 120 trees on the site, with species including hawthorn, oak, silver birch, hazel, and rowan.
Further planting is taking place throughout the autumn – a key planting time of the year – with London plane trees to be planted into winter, specially chosen for their ability to absorb pollutants.
Future tree planting work is part of the White Rose Forest partnership with an ambition to increase tree cover by a third across Leeds City Region by 2026, as a mechanism to deliver the Northern Forest.
Schemes in Calderdale that have already started include two Yorkshire Water sites at Gorpley and Ogden with 214,000 trees to be planted.
Critical to delivery across Calderdale, the partnership includes Yorkshire Water, National Trust, local landowners, The Source partnership and Treesponsibility (who have already delivered many tree planting schemes over a number of years). There will also be a push to encourage more sustainable management of current woodlands to ensure their viability for future generations.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, Cllr Scott Patient, said:
“Tree planting has so many environmental benefits and is part of our ongoing efforts to tackle the climate emergency. We’re currently looking at sites across the borough where an increase in the tree population will particularly help to improve the air quality.
“Whilst increasing the amount of trees goes some way to tackling climate change, it’s also important that we continue to do our bit and reduce the amount of emissions in the first place, protecting our distinctive environment for future generations.”
The tree planting work is a key action in the First 100 Days plan, put together by the Council’s Cabinet and complements the Council’s tree and woodland strategy which looks to protect, manage and improve trees and woodlands in Calderdale.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Services and Communities, Cllr Susan Press, said:
“The many trees and woodland in Calderdale are so important and it’s vital that we continue with our tree planting programme, not only to harness their many benefits, but also to ensure that we’re able to replace trees that have been lost to disease or other issues.
“I’d like to thank our countryside volunteers who’ve worked hard to plant these tree saplings under the expert guidance of our safer, cleaner, greener staff who have identified the most appropriate species.”
Further planting sessions will take place throughout the year at sites around the borough. To find out more about volunteering with the Countryside service, visit www.calderdale.gov.uk and search for ‘volunteering’.