‘MEA4Trees’ climate fightback begins with 56,000 trees to be planted over five years

A NEW partnership between Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and the Woodland Trust will see 56,000 native trees planted – that’s one for every household in the borough – over the next five years.

The MEA4Trees initiative was officially launched at an event attended by local school children, environmental champions and community representatives at Bentra Golf Club on Friday.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Beth Adger MBE, said the MEA4Trees project is part of Council’s National Tree Week Celebrations and represented Council’s support for the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fight Back initiative.

Cllr Adger continued: “Trees are good for people and the environment. They can improve air quality by producing oxygen, storing carbon, moderating the effects of sun and wind, and clean the air by trapping dust, pollen and other pollutants.

“Trees also provide food and shelter for wildlife such as birds, squirrels and invertebrates, as well as for people, and have been proven to increase property value and help relax people by lowering heart rates and reducing stress. More and more research is showing just how important trees are.

“The MEA4Trees campaign will complement a number of UK wide initiatives such as The Queens Commonwealth Canopy, One Million Trees in One Day, and the Woodland Trust’s MOREwoods campaign, and all trees will be native species.

“MEA4Trees will promote the importance of trees, help Council work towards carbon neutral status, and deliver a number of Community Plan Objectives such as Good health and wellbeing; Lifelong Learning; and Our Environment.

“Council is delighted that the Woodland Trust have come on board to partner us in the programme. We are looking forward to working with the Woodland Trust and most importantly, working with the community and schools across the Borough, on a range of tree planting initiatives over the next five years. I am delighted to see so many young people here today – you are our future!”

Ian McCurley, Director of The Woodland Trust Northern Ireland, said: “It’s great to see Mid and East Antrim Borough Council taking action against climate change at a local level and partnering with the Woodland Trust in our Big Climate Fightback.

“We can all take action against climate change and tree planting is one of the most effective, simple and cost effective solutions. Not only do the trees absorb Co2, but they also support wildlife, provide outdoor access and are a great way to get communities involved in looking after the environment. The Woodland Trust looks forward to working closely with our partners in the Council to plant 56,000 trees in Mid and East Antrim.”

Also in attendance at the launch were pupils from Whitehead Primary School, Friends of Diamond Jubilee Wood and Brighter Whitehead, members of Bentra Golf Society and Council representatives. All those attending planted a tree to mark the launch of the programme.

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