The ambitious planting pledge lies at the heart of the new Clyde Climate Forest, which is part of the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network, and will breathe new life across the eight local authorities in the region.
The Clyde Climate Forest is being delivered as part of the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network, with support from Green Action Trust, TCV, Glasgow City Region, Trees for Cities, Scottish Forestry and Woodland Trust Scotland.
The project secured a £400,000 grant from the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund as well as £150,000 from Scottish Forestry over the next two years to recruit a project team and kick-start the development of new planting schemes.
Around 18 million trees will be planted over the next decade in East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow City, Inverclyde, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire, increasing woodland cover in the region from 17 per cent to 20 per cent.
The move is being viewed as an ideal opportunity for Glasgow City Region to demonstrate its commitment to reaching Net Zero, as it hosts COP26 in November.
Councillor Tony Buchanan, leader of East Renfrewshire Council and chairman of the Infrastructure & Assets Portfolio for Glasgow City Region, said: “Trees are nature’s own green lungs, improving the air that we breathe and soaking up harmful CO2 emissions from our environment.
"I am delighted that a new community woodland has been created at Cowan Park, Barrhead, with 2500 trees planted in it as part of the Clyde Climate Forest project.
As well as creating a fantastic new space for nature within the park, this initiative contributes to our ambitions to reduce our carbon footprint and help tackle climate change.”
There are around 29,000 hectares of broadleaved woodland in the region, but they are fragmented due to urban development. The new planting aims to connect these woodlands and help restore nature and boost biodiversity.
Mairi McAllan, Minister for Environment, Biodiversity and Land Reform said: “This is a significant and well timed initiative showcasing all that is good in tree planting as we approach COP26.
"It is also a first for Scotland, with eight local authorities working together with government and other partners on a major woodland creation initiative.”
The project team is calling on community groups and land managers to help them identify places to plant new trees, or replace ones that have been lost in the past.
Work is also beginning to encourage smaller land owners and local authorities to gear up for tree planting, are being offered free woodland assessments.
Businesses within Glasgow City Region are being encouraged to get their staff involved with community tree planting projects. They can invest in the Clyde Climate Forest if they sign up to a new charter which demonstrates their commitment to reducing emissions.
The majority of woodland planting will be funded through Scottish Forestry’s various grant schemes, but also through funding mechanisms that the Clyde Climate Forest can lever. Community groups and individuals can also donate.
Individuals and community groups can donation to the Clyde Climate Forest project through www.mypark.scot/ccf.
For business donations email [email protected]