Manchester City Council has set out a plan to plant around 64,000 new trees across the city region by 2050.
Since the launching the region’s first ‘tree strategy’ in 2005, more than 125,000 new trees and tree hedges – including 125 community orchards, and fruit tree groves – have been planted all across Manchester by both Manchester City Council and partner organisations such as City of Trees, the orchard project, and others.
Now, the council has announced that several hundred more trees are set to be planted over the next six months as part of a 10-year Tree and Woodland Action Plan that aims to boost Manchester‘s tree cover and will be considered at an Environment, Climate Change and Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee this week.
The new plan comes after the Council-commissioned ‘Growing Manchester’s Trees’ study, which looked at how the city’s treescape has evolved, and how it can be improved for the future, concluded that there’s a significant scope to increase the city’s tree canopy cover from its current level of almost 19% of tree cover to almost 22%.
The draft of the Tree and Woodland Action Plan that’s being considered this week is said to “envisage the Council working with organisations and other stakeholders across the city” to achieve that goal.
This means that an estimated 64,000 new trees would need to be planted.
Reaching this ambition will require new collaborative bids to sources such as the Government’s Urban Tree Challenge Fund.
After the planning meeting this week, the Council states that local Manchester residents will be consulted on the new Tree and Woodland Action Plan – which sits alongside the Council’s existing Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy to promote and protect green open spaces and waterways – before it would officially be adopted.
Should the plan be approved by local Councillors and Manchester residents, it will be adopted sometime in early 2024.
Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment at Manchester City Council says “With every year that passes, it feels like we understand more about the benefits of trees – not just in combatting climate change by removing and storing carbon but also in supporting resilience to its impacts by reducing flood risks and providing shade.
“Tens of thousands of trees have been planted since we first started looking at this issue strategically and we now have a better understanding than ever of where our trees are and where more are needed.
“Now we want to work with residents and organisations in the city to support the planting of even more.”