The Queen’s trees branch out into Tameside

Date Released - 05/11/2018

Trees planted in Tameside as a tribute to the Queen will help improve air quality.

Tameside Council is planting trees across the borough, which not only make it more attractive but have many environmental and health benefits.

The latest involved seven volunteers helping plant 250 trees in Cheetham Park, Stalybridge, in one day.

They included five trees that were provided by Stalybridge and Hyde MP Jonathan Reynolds as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a network of forest conservation initiatives to mark Her Majesty's lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

They were donated to Mr Reynolds thanks to a partnership between the Woodland Trust, Sainsbury’s and ITV, which in April screened a landmark documentary, The Queen's Green Planet, following Her Majesty and this ambitious legacy project which brings together her deeply held commitment to the Commonwealth and her little-known love of trees.

In support of the programme the Woodland Trust provided 50,000 trees for ITV viewers and offered a special commemorative pack to every MP.  Mr Reynolds approached Tameside Council to find an appropriate location.  The two silver birch, two rowan, and a hazel, all UK sourced and grown, were planted alongside an existing canopy to protect them as saplings are vulnerable when planted in isolation.

Tree planting across Tameside is carried out by the Council’s Operations and Greenspace team and volunteers. It supports Tameside Council’s Our Streets campaign, which is bringing the local authority and public together to create a cleaner, greener, safer borough.

Poor air quality is the UK’s largest environmental public health issue with pollutants linked to breathing illnesses, heart disease, stroke and even some cancers, contributing to the equivalent of 1,200 deaths a year in Greater Manchester. Trees remove gaseous air pollution and airborne particles as well as reducing flood risk and increasing biodiversity and wildlife activity.

Tameside Council is involved in a range of actions to improve air quality and help the environment, including the Tameside Green Summit; a Public Health Annual Report, available at www.tameside.gov.uk/publichealthreports, which identifies what people can do to limit their contribution and exposure to air pollution; and work with partner organisations on a Clean Air Plan for Greater Manchester, available at www.CleanAirGM.com.

A Tameside Council spokesman said: “These five trees in Cheetham Park are a welcome addition to the tree planting we carry out across the borough to improve the environment and air quality.”

Mr Reynolds said: “I’m delighted that these trees will add to Tameside’s growing canopy to help improve the air we breathe. They make a fitting tribute to the Queen’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth, while providing something that is beneficial and can be enjoyed by all my constituents. I use this park regularly with my children and dogs and we can’t wait to watch the trees grow to their full height.”

Woodland Trust Chief Executive Beccy Speight said: “Trees are a cornerstone of our landscape and countryside, forming an essential and cherished part of our cultural identity. They are crucial in improving soil health and water quality, reducing carbon, trapping pollutants, slowing the flow of flood water, sheltering livestock, providing a home for wildlife or a space for us to breathe. I hope the residents of Tameside will enjoy watching them flourish as part of this wonderful legacy initiative.”



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