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An urban forest, consisting of 18 million trees, is to be planted in and around Glasgow over the next 10 years.
The Clyde Climate Forest will be part of the city region’s commitment to reaching Net Zero.
It will increase woodland cover in the area from 17% to 20%.
Inter-connected woodlands will be created across Glasgow, East and West Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, and North and South Lanarkshire council areas.
The number of trees being planted is equivalent to 10 trees per resident.
The planting aims to reconnect about 29,000 hectares of broad-leaved woodland in the region that has been fragmented due to urban development.
Community groups and land managers are being asked to help identify places to plant new trees, or replace those lost in the past.
George Anderson, from the Woodland Trust, told BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland programme that interconnecting woodland would help wildlife.
“We are seeking to link up existing woodlands as far as possible,” he said. “One of the great problems that wildlife has is that habitats like woodland are very fragmented and that means wildlife can’t move around as easily as it should.”
He said the Woodland Trust would ultimately like to see a network of woodland from Helensburgh to Lanark.
“But we are looking at making a native forest wherever we can,” he said. “It’s a really vast undertaking so we are looking for everyone to get on board in the wider region.”
Mr Anderson said trees could be planted in streets or in former industrial or mining areas as well as in the countryside or on the edges of farming land.
“We are looking to plant trees wherever we can get at the moment because of climate change,” he said. “Glasgow is hosting COP26 in November. This is Glasgow making a commitment to reaching net zero.”
He said a variety of native species would be planted to bring benefits to wildlife as well as capturing carbon.
“We just hope people will get involved and make a better future for the area and the planet,” he added.
Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken said: “New community woodlands, trees and forests will bring multiple benefits to our local communities as well as wildlife.
“The pandemic has brought into focus like never before the value of local spaces as places to exercise, de-stress and engage with nature and this project can help to deliver the green recovery.
“The economic, ecological and social benefits will be extensive.”
The project has secured £400,000 from the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund as well as £150,000 from Scottish Forestry over the next two years to recruit a project team and begin the development of new planting schemes.
Dave Signorini, Scottish Forestry chief executive, said: “The Clyde Climate Forest will deliver social and economic benefit to the population of the City Region. It will also provide a place for nature to connect, recover and thrive.
“Planting trees can help us reduce our carbon footprint and strengthen communities.”
Patrick Harvie, Scottish Greens co-leader and MSP for Glasgow, said increasing Glasgow and Clyde’s tree cover by a fifth was welcome in the year of the COP26 conference and followed Glasgow becoming the first city in Scotland to declare an ecological emergency in 2019.
“The project’s ambition must be realised quickly, and with a significant proportion of the trees being native woodland, so that it can play a major part on nature recovery,” he said.