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20,000 Trees To Be Planted Across Bradford

It's National Tree Week - the UK's largest annual tree celebration.

Ambitious proposals to plant over 20,000 trees across the Bradford District began at the weekend with the help of an eight-year-old boy and a conker he found two years ago.

With the help of his grandmother Sue, Zac Dickenson planted a Horse Chestnut tree in Silsden Park to mark the start of National Tree Week, which runs from until 1st December.

It is the first step of the huge Northern Forest Project that aims to massively increase tree cover in the North.

Over the next five years, local authorities and partner organisations will plant 50 million trees in a bid to transform northern England’s landscape.

Zac’s conker tree marks the beginning of Bradford Council’s contribution to the Forest, and is also part of authority’s efforts to tackle climate change.

So far over 50 suitable sites across Bradford District have been identified as suitable areas for tree planting as part of the project, which the Council says will make the district greener, healthier and more attractive.

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season.

Sue Dickenson said: “My grandson found a conker when he was six in a local cemetery.

“I think when he planted it, he did not expect it would grow but when it did, he watered and looked after it. It’s now too big for its pot and he asked if he could plant it somewhere.

“He told me we need more trees as they breathe out oxygen and help keep our air clean.”

A recent report by the Council revealed that officers had identified numerous “underused” and “hard to mow” areas of parks and recreation grounds that might be suitable for planting of the thousands of trees.

As well as Silsden Park, other areas of the Keighley constituency that have been identified as possible new wooded sites include Marley Community Orchard, Highfield Recreation Ground in Keighley, at Whins Wood Recreation Ground between Keighley and Cross Roads, and Addingham War Memorial Recreation Ground.

Steve Hartley, Strategic Director of Place for Bradford Council, said: “Bradford Council is working with local people to increase the number of trees as part of our response to the climate emergency.

“Trees planted as part of the Northern Forest will capture carbon, help reduce flooding, increase biodiversity and create a healthy environment.

“This year we aim to plant around 20,000 trees and have identified sites for a five-year tree planting programme.

“If anyone has trees they’ve been growing or land where trees can be planted, please get in touch.”

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