A total of 34,000 trees are set to be planted across the borough in the next few months as Wigan Council takes the next big step in its biggest ever planting programme.
Officers have identified 12.98 hectares of land across the borough as potential planting sites as part of a new initiative in partnership with City of Trees.
As part of a forward-thinking climate change strategy unveiled last year, council bosses have pledged to plant one million trees by the end of 2030.
Funding from the government’s Nature for Climate grant, secured by City of Trees in partnership with the council, means up to 115 hectares of new planting across Greater Manchester between now and the end of March 2021 will take place – equivalent of up to 230,000 trees for the City Region.
Councillor Nazia Rehman, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for Resources, Finance and Transformation, said: “I am delighted the investment has been secured and we have been able to identify various sites across the borough that could benefit from this latest tree planting project.
“This is the beginning of the council’s efforts to ensure residents benefit from better air quality and a more sustainable future. We look forward to working with City of Trees in this latest venture.”
City of Trees is aiming to restore unused woodland and plant at least one tree for every person that lives in Greater Manchester.
Subject to Covid-19 restrictions, it’s hoped there may be scope for involving the community in the tree planting and routine maintenance work further down the line.
Kevin Wigley, operations manager, from the City of Trees movement said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Wigan Council to plant many more trees across the borough, helping to address the climate emergency and improve local green spaces for residents.”
Tree planting is just one of the many steps being taken by Wigan Council after it decided to take urgent environmental action in 2019 after declaring a climate emergency.
Trees are key to our fight against climate change. They absorb greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and release oxygen for us to breathe. They intercept and use rainwater to grow, which can help to lower the risk of flooding by reducing and slowing the amount of water entering our rivers and sewers. Trees can also be good for air quality by helping to trap or disperse pollution.
Working with GM neighbours and other key stakeholders, Wigan Council aspires to be carbon-neutral by 2038 or sooner.