20 trees including cherry, field maple and sweetgum have been planted as part of a £2 million Bury New Road regeneration programme.
As part of the Bury Council led programme the new street trees have been planted to help tackle surface water flooding, as well as improve the look and feel of the area.
The trees have been planted in partnership with charity City of Trees which aims to plant 3 million trees over a generation – one for every man, woman and child in Greater Manchester.
The high impact street trees form just part of the improvement works with the scheme also including enhanced paving and street lighting as well as wider pavement and the introduction of a cycle lane.
Cllr Alan Quinn, cabinet member for the environment said: “The reaction in Prestwich to the Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme (SUDS) involving the street trees has been really positive. People love the idea of using rainwater to water the trees and to improve the environment in general. We are already exploring the potential for other natural flood management projects in Bury.”
The trees have been placed in specially designed pits which receive rainwater running off the road, pavement and some of the surrounding buildings.
The rainwater entering the tree pits is used by the trees and excess water drains through the tree pit and is eventually returned to the sewer system.
The University of Manchester will be monitoring the tree pits to see how this affects the volume and speed of water entering the sewer system. They will also be examining the levels of pollution in the water as it enters the tree pits and when it is returned to the sewer after it has filtered through where the trees have been planted
The trees have been planted along both sides of the High Street which is home to a good mixture of flagship stores and an interesting mix of independent restaurants and niche shops.
Street trees have also been proven to be an effective tool in making retail areas more attractive to shoppers and encouraging people to stay longer.
Urban regeneration specialist Muse Developments, who are working in partnership with Bury MBC on a scheme to revitalise the Longfield centre in Prestwich, have also supported the planting project.
Mike Horner, regional director at Muse, said: “This fantastic initiative will help improve the quality of the environment in Prestwich town centre – adding attractive greenery as well as additional environmental benefits.”
The team behind City of Trees has been working to improve the look and feel of Greater Manchester for over 25 years, and has planted 5,000 street trees including residential streets and city centre locations.
Flagship schemes include Princess Street and Whitworth Street in Manchester city centre as well as St. Petersgate in Stockport town centre.
Pete Stringer, City of Trees, comments; “Street trees don’t just change the look and feel of a street, town or city centre, but they bring a whole range of benefits including combatting climate change, and improving our health and wellbeing”.
“By planting street trees we can really help to transform our towns and cities into attractive places for people”.
The Prestwich street tree planting project was a partnership of Bury MBC, the Environment Agency, United Utilities, MUSE Developments, The University of Manchester, City of Trees and formed part of the EU LIFE funded Natural Course project.