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27th Jun, 2022

Online tree-planting map to boost carbon neutral efforts in Warwickshire

Editorial Correspondent 26th Jan, 2022 Updated: 26th Jan, 2022

A VIRTUAL forest means tree planting in Warwickshire can now be mapped online.

Warwickshire County Council has joined the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Virtual Forest as part of its response to the climate emergency and restoring nature.

The platform is an online mapping tool meaning anyone who has planted a tree can register it. It is hoped all new tree planting across Warwickshire, and the wider region, will be included.

It is part of the WMCA’s long-term commitment to be carbon neutral by 2041 and to restore and enhance the natural environment.

Warwickshire County Council climate spokeswoman, Coun Heather Timms, joined West Midlands mayor Andy Street, at The Children’s Forest at Leasowe Farm in Radford Semele, to pledge the council’s support to the platform by planting two trees.

The event was also an opportunity to renew the commitment to planting a tree for every resident in the county.

Coun Timms said: “There are no greater challenges facing humanity than those posed by the climate emergency. The response to this crisis cannot be met by governments, local or national, acting alone. It will require a concerted effort by all of us, making changes, large and small, to reverse the damage that we have done to our planet and its ecosystems. Tree planting, reversing a century of tree removal, will be integral to this response.

“The site of the Children’s Forest at Leasowe Farm, our chosen venue for this announcement, is a fantastic example of a large-scale tree-planting initiative created by and for the local community to be enjoyed for generations to come.

“It is our hope that future tree planting schemes across Warwickshire will all be recorded on the WMCA Virtual Forest as Warwickshire strives towards a tree being planted for every resident.

“The Woodlands Trust have stated that in order to meet the UK’s carbon net-zero target, it is going to need to plant millions more trees across the country. In Warwickshire, we are now committed to playing our part in this essential planting.”

Kristie Naimo, director at Achieving Results in Communities – which run the planting scheme at Leasowe Farm, said the Children’s Forest aimed to have a lasting impact.

“It is really important to us that when the children and families come to plant trees here that they are also thinking about how they will be cared for and tended in the future.

“We hope the children and young people planting trees here will come back to visit the trees in years to come and enjoy the beautiful forest that they had a hand in creating.”

The county council is exploring promoting the Virtual Forest as a requirement within local authority grant awards – such as the Green Shoots Community Climate Change Fund – that would allow it to be used as an auditing tool. The platform could also be used to record climate change planting schemes across Warwickshire.

Visit www.wmvirtualforest.co.uk for more details and to register any tree planting.

 

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