The City of Bradford has been internationally recognised in the first cohort of six UK Tree Cities of the World for its commitment to urban forestry management.
This exciting new recognition means that the City of Bradford is now part of a global network of cities dedicated to sharing knowledge how we all manage urban trees and forests to make our cities greener and more robust.
Globally, the Tree Cities of the World initiative is being led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Arbor Day Foundation - and Trees for Cities is leading the initiative here in the UK.
As part of its commitment to urban forestry, the City of Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council kick-started its key climate action pledge in National Tree Week 2020, to plant the equivalent of a tree for every primary school child in the City. This means planting 55,000 trees across the district over the next two years and forms part of a £1m investment in climate action measures announced in January 2020.
The City of Bradford Council and One Tree for Every Child programme that was launched in National Tree Week (28 November to 6 December 2020) was also featured on BBC1's Countryfile programme on Sunday 29 November. In a reflection of its Tree Cities of the World status, there is a real understanding of the multiple benefits that urban trees can bring to towns and cities.
As well as cleaning our air, protecting against flood risk, improving mental and physical health and creating habitats for wildlife, planting trees also contributes towards 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. By applying to become one of the Tree Cities of the World, Bradford has joined a growing network of cities and towns committed to caring for their urban forests — and the planet.
Applications are now open for local authorities in towns and cities across the UK to apply for global recognition - deadline is 31st Jan 2021.
As part of Tree Cities of the World programme, your town or city will receive direction, assistance and worldwide recognition for your community’s dedication to its urban forest. The programme provides a framework for a healthy, sustainable urban forestry program and the benefits are substantial. To read more about the benefits of recognition please read here.
David Elliott, Chief Executive of Trees for Cities, said: "We are incredibly proud to be involved in the launch of the fantastic Plant Britain campaign in Bradford. These new trees will help inspire a new generation to plant and protect urban trees and will also bring a multitude of benefits, including tackling the climate crisis, cleaning our air, protecting against flood risk and creating habitats for wildlife."
"This project also highlights Bradford's wider contribution to urban forestry. The city was recently awarded 'Tree Cities of the World' recognition - a world-first in an initiative led by Trees for Cities in the UK. We would like to thank the Arbor Day Foundation and FAO for their support in this initiative and for their funding towards this project that can be enjoyed for today's and future generations."
Since Bradford achieved this recognition, the Arbor Day Foundation has made a direct contribution to fund 15,000 trees through Bradford’s partnership with Trees for Cities.
One Tree for Every Child is kindly supported by the players of People's Postcode Lottery, The Dulverton Trust, The Prince of Wales's Charitable Fund and The Arbor Day Foundation.