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A Glasgow community plant their ‘Climate Forest’ for COP26

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MEDIA RELEASE
05 November 2021
A Glasgow community plant their ‘Climate Forest’ for COP26
A new ‘Climate Forest’ is to be planted in Priesthill in the southwest of Glasgow with the help of local people during COP26.Planted on land donated by Glasgow City Council, Priesthill is the first of several neighbourhoods across Glasgow to plant trees as part of a collaborative effort to increase urban tree cover. Known as the ‘Clyde Climate Forest’, the initiative will see 18 million trees planted in both urban and rural parts of Glasgow City Region over the next decade and will help deliver the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network.As one of the main pillars of Glasgow’s pledge to reach net zero by 2030, the aim of the initiative is to increase Glasgow’s tree canopy cover to 20% to build resilience to the impacts of climate change and lock up CO2 emissions.Some of the most important benefits that we get from urban trees are the interception of rainfall (which helps to reduce the risk of flash floods), the regulation of urban temperatures, and the removal of airborne pollutants.A recent analysis indicated that Priesthill has a tree canopy cover of just 16.6%. With planting taking place on the 6th of November – UN Presidency themed “Nature and Land Use” day – it is only befitting that locals will be doing their part to contribute to the Clyde Climate Forest by planting over 200 trees in their greenspace.The trees, provided by the Woodland Trust Scotland with additional funding from Trees for Cities, are all native to Scotland and will extend an existing woodland area alongside Levern Water.Councillor Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council said: “Trees, woodlands and forests are recognised as essential if we are to address the climate emergency and reach Glasgow’s goal of net zero carbon by 2030.“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.”Max Hislop, Director of the Clyde Climate Forest, said “It is exciting for us to be planting these trees alongside the local people of Priesthill. In the face of so many concerns about climate change and the future of our planet it is sometimes difficult to know what we can do to help.But we do know that healthy growing trees have so many benefits from absorbing carbon to slowing runoff, cooling our streets during heatwaves, providing homes for wildlife, and improving air quality. So, planting trees is a positive action. It is an act of faith for a better future, and we plan to plant many more across Glasgow in the months and years to come.”Woodland Trust Scotland Director Alastair Seaman said: “We are delighted to support the Clyde Climate Forest with £400,000 from our Emergency Tree Fund. Congratulations to Priesthill on being the first community to plant. This is a historic moment.”Kate Sheldon, Deputy Chief Executive at Trees for Cities said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Clyde Climate Forest and this exciting planting project in Priesthill. COP26 has shone a light on the fact there has never been a more vital time to be planting and protecting trees. As well as the multiple ecosystem service benefits that these trees will provide, this initiative will also give the communities in and around Priesthill an opportunity to play a leading role in greening their local area and to harness the lifelong health and wellbeing benefits that engaging with nature brings.  We look forward to supporting more projects across Glasgow over the coming months and years.”The Clyde Climate Forest builds on the current enthusiasm for tree planting and will channel that interest into worthwhile and well-considered planting projects that deliver a broad range of climate and ecological benefits to Glasgow City Region.

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