Climate change is a growing threat to the planet and people. Many councils, including The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, have now declared a climate emergency in order to take action and to reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by 2038 to help reduce environmental threats. Planting trees is a major factor in tackling climate change – a single tree can absorb 22kg of carbon dioxide per year and 100 square metres of woodland can store nearly four tonnes.
As a Tree City of the World, an initiative led by Trees for Cities here in the UK, Bradford Council is aware of the significant value of trees and woodland to the environment and has partnered with Trees for Cities to plant a tree for every primary aged school child in the district over the next two years. That’s 55,000 new trees planted across the city in primary school grounds and the creation of two new children's woodlands within easy reach of schools and urban communities.
15,000 whips have already been planted at Wrose Brow in partnership with local organisations and volunteers. Later this year, 30 primary schools will plant a variety of native trees and hedgerows to increase biodiversity, shade and in some cases to create forest school areas for the future in their grounds. Fruit Works Co-operative, one of the partners in this project, will support a further 20 schools to plant mini orchards in their grounds with a variety of trees such as plum, apple, cherry and blackberry, raspberry and gooseberry, some of which have already been planted in two schools.
Smaller, individual trees will be given to families to plant at home for an opportunity to do something themselves about tackling climate change. Finally, two new children's woodlands with public access will be planted by schools, community groups, residents and partner organisations beginning in National Tree Week in November.
Tree for Every Child also aims to help people learn more about the importance of trees, their benefits and maintenance and there will be activities and resources available to schools and other groups, including workshops about planting, watering juicing and pruning.
This is an incredibly important initiative when it comes to creating a healthier city that can last a lifetime for children growing up in an urban environment, giving them the opportunity to really connect with and protect the trees and nature around them.
If you would like to learn more about how to get involved, please contact Mel@treesforcities.org .
Trees have multiple benefits, enhancing the landscape and giving people a sense of peace and wellbeing, as well as the role they play in absorbing carbon.
Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places
Trees for Cities and The City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council have been working in partnership indirectly for several years through Bradford Environmental Action Trust (BEAT). We first worked together directly in the 2018-19 planting season to plant at ‘Betty’s Wood’ and expanded our partnership in the next season to plant a further 14,700 trees across four sites in the city region.