The need of having trees to keep a clean air is out of any doubt. Planting one tree per person in Greater Manchester, ideally up to 3 million, is the aim of City of Trees, this is one tree per person. This charity seeks to look after the environment and fight climate change by reforesting green spaces. Last month they started to work in Wigan close to Leigh at Bickershaw Country Park. They already have gone to the place several times planting hundreds of trees.
The website of the charity shows they have reached 332,692 trees so far, in an area of 239.38 hectares. A group of volunteers meet regularly, led by the Woodland Officer Andy Long, at the field and work at planting the trees. They want reach 1:1. One tree per person, in Greater Manchester.
City of Trees started in the early 90s as Red Rose Forest. At the beginning, they were funded by 6 local authorities, the Forestry Commission and the Countryside Agency. On those conditions, they were limited to work in certain boroughs.
As time has gone by the financial support has declined and they have had to look elsewhere for funding to keep the team and the projects running.
In 2016 they changed the name to City of Trees, started working across the 10 local authorities and shifted their focus to try and engage more with the private sector for support. Andy Long says, “It was becoming apparent over a long period of time that we couldn’t rely on local government support to deliver the outputs, outcomes and projects. We obtain our funding from a mix of grants and supporters such as the Heritage Lottery Fund.”
We only cancel “in case of extremely bad conditions”
Everybody there planting trees is a volunteer. However, City of Trees provide all tools and equipment necessary for the task, they recommend wearing appropriate clothing and suitable footwear for working outdoors, not always in the best weather conditions. “We work a mainly in autumn and winter because it is the natural time for seeding and we only cancel the event in case of extremely bad conditions; mostly because the frozen temperature and the roots can not grow.”
Usually, there are around ten volunteers at one time. Sometimes Wildlife Trust help during their hiking trips. Ruth is a student of wildlife conservation at the University of Salford. She says that she helps because environmental issuse alwas have facinated her. Also, she is worried for the future of the planet.
According to Ruth they are planting indigenous trees but also foreign species. Due to the likelihood that the temperature will rise from 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius before 2050, they plant trees for conditions in Southern Europe. As a guideline they use the Red List of Threatened Species from International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Besides those meetings, City of Trees has many other projects where the community can participate. If you want more information, click here.