Extra trees are set to be planted in York as council figures reveal the city’s coverage is currently below the national average.
City of York Council aims to increase tree coverage from 10.76 per cent to meet the national average of 13 per cent by 2050.
It is part of the city’s bid to cut carbon emissions, improve air quality and boost biodiversity.
Under the plans an extra 10,000 trees could be planted each year – the equivalent of more than 30 football pitches.
A council spokesperson said the city would be well on its way to achieving this goal if every household planted one tree – either in a garden, allotment or park.
The proposals will be considered by councillor for the environment Paula Widdowson at a meeting on Wednesday.
Net zero by 2030
Cllr Widdowson said: “To become a carbon neutral city we need to make the most of every tool at our disposal and I’m pleased to see that the expansion of our city’s tree canopy will help us catch up to the national average and contribute to our goal to make our city’s carbon emissions net-zero by 2030.
“The ever changing landscape of York offers us the opportunity to reduce the CO2 in our atmosphere as well as to create a healthier and happier environment that we can all enjoy.
“Increasing the biodiversity of our city is a key priority in our response to the climate emergency and this also contributes to our management of flood risks, use of public space and creation of green jobs across the city.”
York is a member of the White Rose Forest – a plan for councils across the north from Merseyside to Yorkshire to plant more trees.
Leeds and Kirklees are the only two districts with tree coverage higher than the national average of 13 per cent – at 17.16 per cent and 15.17 per cent respectively.
Craven and Selby are well below the national average at 5.37 per cent and 9.94 per cent.
New 194-acre wood
If York adds 21 hectares of trees planted every year
- 1 to 2 per cent of regional CO2 emissions would be removed in 2038
- rising to 8 to 15 per cent by 2050.
The council has been looking at areas where trees could be planted. White Rose Forest figures show 60 per cent of York’s trees are currently outside of woodland areas.
As part of the project, the council aims to increase tree numbers across York, make it easier for residents to spend time in green spaces, boost wildlife habitats and biodiversity and tackle climate change through carbon absorption.
A new community 194-acre wood is set to be created on land between Knapton and Rufforth under council plans to plant 50,000 trees by 2023.
People have been invited to have their say on the design of the woodland and how they can get involved in planting trees. Visit the council’s community woodland page to have your say by May 19.
The meeting takes place on May 5 at 3pm.