Hundreds of new trees will be planted across the city thanks to a project being launched by the University of Bristol to ensure the European Green Capital legacy lives on for future generations.
The University is pledging £60,000 for tree planting over the next three years. The project is being run with the help of the Bristol Tree Forum, which works in partnership with Bristol City Council and other organisations to protect and enhance urban trees in streets, parks, gardens and all open spaces across Bristol.
Dr John Tarlton, a member of the Bristol Tree Forum who works at the University’s Vet School at Langford, explained: “Trees are extremely important in an urban environment. They reduce air pollution, flooding, traffic noise, the urban heat island effect, and atmospheric CO2, and increase biodiversity, as well as being great to look at.
“Unfortunately, cuts to the Council expenditure have meant that street trees lost due to disease etc. are not being replaced, and there are little or no funds to plant new street trees to improve the Bristol canopy.
“So I approached the University to see if they might be able to help as part of their plans for European Green Capital 2015. We’re now working on a major project which will initially see us replace lost trees in existing sites, and then – over the next three years – plant trees in exciting new sites around Bristol.
“To get the project off the ground, we are looking at ways of involving our students, staff and local communities to choose where the trees should go, as we want the environmental and ecological benefits of new trees to have a far-reaching and long-lasting impact.”
In the long-term, it’s hoped the project will lead to the creation of a Bristol Tree Walk, with interactive QR codes taking people to web pages with further information on the tree species and history.
Professor Judith Squires, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Chair of the University of Bristol’s Sustainability Steering Group, said: “This is a really exciting project that will provide a long-lasting legacy for our work during Green Capital Year. We want to choose the sites for trees in partnership with local communities, so do please contact us if you have ideas about areas that would benefit.”
If you would like to suggest an area which could benefit from new trees, please email firstname.lastname@example.org a short supporting statement.