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Bedford Borough Council increases tree planting year-on-year

May 12, 2020 8:02 PM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Mayor Dave Hodgson with newly-planted treesBedford Borough Council has delivered a year-on-year increase in tree planting, a report to this week's Climate Change Committee confirmed.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said "Trees play an important role in combating climate change, they are one of the most effective ways of removing CO2 out of the atmosphere to tackle the climate crisis. Tree planting is an important part of Bedford Borough Council's commitment to be net carbon-neutral by 2030.

A typical hardwood tree can absorb as much as 22 kg of carbon dioxide per year; this means that by the time a tree reaches 40 years old it will sequester approximately 900 kg of carbon dioxide. Trees can help reduce ambient temperatures in urban areas by transpiring and providing shade, and can save up to 10% of the energy needed to heat and cool buildings. Trees also release oxygen, and reduce soil erosion. Trees can slow down the rate at which rainwater hits the ground and reduce the risk of flash flooding. They are an essential element of biodiversity and mature trees support extremely valuable wildlife habitats throughout the Borough.

The Council's Tree Section already manages over 26,000 tress, including highway trees and trees in parks and amenity spaces giving. There are many more trees within country parks, woodlands and on other council-owned land and, of course, on private property.

The report supports the planting of more trees and protection of those the council already has to assist in dealing with the climate crisis. The Council will also work with the Forest of Marston Vale, Parish & Town Councils and other stakeholders to undertake an analysis of where we can increase tree planting across the borough.