More than 13,000 trees have been planted in Wirral since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, with up to 7,000 more planned by April. This number means that the council is on track with its target of doubling Wirral’s tree canopy by 2030.
The planting taking place across the borough fits in to the comprehensive Wirral Tree, Woodland and Hedgerow Strategy, which sets out ambitious plans for increasing woodland cover, as well as robust processes for managing and inspecting trees. Each new tree that is planted is entered into an inventory system and allocated a unique asset reference number, it is then assigned an inspection frequency.
Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of the Climate Emergency and Transport Committee, said: “Despite all the challenges of the past 12 months, it’s great that we are still on track to meet our tree planting target and I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who has helped to make that happen.
“Since we declared a ‘Climate Emergency’ in 2019 we’ve set out some really ambitious goals, including becoming net carbon neutral by 2030, ensuring a 20 per cent net gain in biodiversity across all council land and planting over 210,000 trees by 2030.”
A number of planting schemes have taken place over the past 12 months, including:
• 9 new trees on A41
• 37 trees planted at Northbank West on Dock Road
• 1,520 trees planted at Eastham Country Park
• 130 trees planted at Tower Road, Birkenhead/Wallasey
• 1,700 as part of the Urban Tree Challenge Fund
• 22 via the ‘adopt a tree’ scheme
• 10,000 trees planted through the Eco Schools Programme
Some works are still underway and will be included by April. These are:
• 14 trees on Duke Street
• 1,000 trees in an initial pilot giveaway to Garden Waste subscribers
• 4-6,000 (of an eventual total of 9,600) along the Leasowe Loop/Vyner Fields (these are going in as plugs rather than bare root stock which expands the planting window)
The council will continue to identify suitable locations for new planting schemes which will begin again when the next planting season starts in November.
Cllr Grey continued: “As restrictions are eased, we will be encouraging members of the community to get involved in growing and planting even more trees and we’ll be supporting community efforts to raise money and apply for funds to do so.
“Trees are key to our sense of place, identity and pride and it’s essential that local people and groups are at the heart of what we do.”
Included in the Wirral Tree, Woodland and Hedgerow Strategy is a commitment that the council will not cut down a healthy tree unless there is a clear safety risk and any trees that are felled will be replaced with at least two more.
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