A PROGRAMME is underway to plant trees alongside Tameside’s roads to help improve air quality.
Each year, Tameside Council undertakes an ambitious highway tree planting programme to increase the number of trees in new locations and replace any removed for safety reasons.
Trees are planted on streets across the borough, in addition to those planted as part of larger engineering schemes, such as Park Parade in Ashton.
Tameside Council Executive Leader Councillor Brenda Warrington took part in this season’s street tree planting when she helped plant a tree in Windmill Lane, Denton, on Friday. (16 November)
Trees planted on our highways not only make the borough more picturesque but have many environmental and health benefits.
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, improving air quality and health and leading to less stress on the NHS.
Trees also intercept rainwater, reducing flood risk, increase biodiversity and wildlife activity and provide a buffer to noise and wind. And research shows that trees increase property prices and levels of economic activity in business districts.
Tree planting across Tameside is carried out by the Council’s Operations and Greenspace team and volunteers and supports Tameside Council’s Our Streets campaign, which is bringing the local authority and public together to create a cleaner, greener, safer borough.
Councillor Warrington said: “I’m delighted to have helped with this year’s street tree planting. Trees not only make our borough more attractive but have significant benefits in reducing air pollution and flooding and increasing wildlife. Planting trees across the borough is just one of the ways that we’re helping the environment and improving the air that we all breathe.”
Tameside Council is involved in a range of actions to improve air quality and help the environment.
The local authority’s Public Health Annual Report, which can be read at www.tameside.gov.uk/publichealthreports, identifies what people can do to limit their contribution and exposure. The Tameside Green Summit brought businesses, public services and voluntary and community groups together to debate key topics and make pledges that have a positive impact on the environment and climate change. And the council is also working with partner organisations on a Clean Air Plan for Greater Manchester to reduce air pollution. A campaign website has been launched at www.CleanAirGM.com.
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