Edinburgh aims to become a city of millions of trees

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Today, the city’s civic leaders have an ambitious goal of becoming a city of a million trees by 2030 as part of their commitment to be net zero by the end of the decade.

Lord Provost Councilor Frank Ross has been joined by representatives from the Edinburgh Million Tree Forum in planting a gingko in the grounds of Lauriston Castle as they pledge to become members of an elite global community.

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Every plantation counts for Councilor Donald Wilson and Lord Provost Frank Ross

The Edinburgh Million Tree Forum is made up of representatives from Edinburgh City Council, the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, the Woodland Trust, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Trees of Edinburgh, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, the Trust for Conservation Volunteers and the Edinburgh Living Landscape Initiative.

One of the main goals of this coalition is to find ways to plant more trees faster in the city.

Edinburgh is already overtaking other Scottish cities in having more trees per capita – there are currently over 730,000 urban trees, compared to around 519,000 inhabitants. The decision to increase the number of trees in the city will help Edinburgh reduce the impacts of climate change by providing cooling during heat waves, surface water management for heavy rainfall as well as some carbon storage and a refuge for wildlife.

The capital is famous for its greenery

Lord Provost Ross said: “We may have more trees in our city than people, but to reach our city’s net zero goal in 2030 we need to plant more.

“Climate change will have an impact on all of us, and we must all play our part to mitigate its effects. A key aspect of the proposed climate strategy is for all of us to build on our past efforts, and the Edinburgh Million Tree City project is giving us all the opportunity to do so.

“This is not a project for the council, it is a project for our city, our communities and for us as citizens, with a shared ambition for Edinburgh to have at least a million trees from here 2030. “

He added: “Although 75% of our trees are managed by the private sector, we have a shared responsibility to manage our trees well and to act when they are damaged or need treatment or replacement. “

Tim Hall, areas and programs manager at Woodland Trust Scotland, said planting trees was a critical way to deal with climatic and natural crises.

And Charlie Cumming, Managing Director of Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust, added: “ELGT is delighted to be working in partnership with City Council and the Woodland Trust to deliver such an ambitious and worthwhile tree planting project over the past 10 years. coming years.

“The benefits of this increased tree planting will not only address the effects of climate change, but will also encourage community participation with residents of Edinburgh and benefit the health and well-being of the people. With so much attention this month on COP26, we understand that we need to start making an impact now; with more tree plantings, we will be able to improve our neighborhoods and streetscapes and have a lasting impact on our local environments. “

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