Next phase of Manchester's transformative tree planting drive gets underway

The second year of a two-year project to plant at least 2,000 trees across Manchester will get underway with its first plantings on Monday 13 December.

An avenue of 18 English oak trees will be planted in Heaton Park, on either side of the tram track near the Middleton Road entrance as the latest planting season for the £1m Tree Action MCR programme begins. 

More than 1,000 trees were planted across Manchester in the first year in 15 wards identified as having the lowest tree cover with around 1,000 more set to be planted in the remainder of wards with suitable locations in the coming months, including four new community orchards.

The trees will contribute to the national Queen’s Green Canopy campaign, for which Greater Manchester is a champion city region, which is encouraging tree planting to mark the Queen’s platinum (70 year) jubilee on the throne in 2022. 

There was a strong emphasis on street trees but locations also included parks and even cemeteries, where Covid-19 memorial ‘beacon’ trees were planted. 

Tree species have been carefully chosen for their resilience to climate change, ability to store carbon and biodiversity benefits. As well as their visual appeal, they also help improve air quality. 

The new oak avenue in Heaton Park will progressively replace the existing ash avenue, which has been hit by ash dieback, but more trees will be planted than are lost. 

Taking part in the planting ceremony are Cllr Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment for Manchester City Council and on behalf of Greater Manchester Deputy Lieutenants Carl Austin Behan and Karan Lee, and High Sheriff of Greater Manchester Diane Hawkins. 

Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Executive Member for Environment for Manchester City Council, said:

“These beautiful, high quality trees will grace the city for decades to come and make a contribution towards our efforts to green the city, promote biodiversity and help reduce carbon emissions.

“Manchester is already a greener city than people think, with around 20% tree cover and by the end of this tree-planting programme the council we will have significantly increased the council’s contribution to that.”

The wards which will benefit from year two of Tree Action MCR are: Baguley, Brooklands; Clayton and Openshaw; Gorton and Abbey Hey; Miles Platting and Newton Heath; Moss Side; Old Moat; Withington and Woodhouse Park. 

Wards featured in first year of planting were Ancoats and Beswick, Ardwick, Cheetham, Clayton and Openshaw, Gorton and Abbey Hey, Miles Platting and Newton Heath, Moss Side, Old Moat, Withington and Woodhouse Park.  

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