The first of 50,000 new trees to create the ‘next generation’ of Sheffield’s woodlands will be laid this weekend.
Sheffield Council has announced that 30 hectares of woodland are to be created across the city in the next three months in a £136,000 scheme funded by the Forestry Commission.
On Saturday 200 native broadleaf trees will be planted at Worrall Recreation Ground to kick-start the initiative.
Tim Shortland, community forestry manager at the council, added: “Sheffield’s existing woodlands are renowned nationally, but many are in decline and despite being of great value to people and wildlife alike will not last forever.
“The establishment of new woodland will perpetuate this amazing woodland legacy for future generations and, in the shorter term, will provide a diversity of habitats for wildlife.
“These new woodlands will maintain the cities woodland legacy, increase biodiversity, clean the air and create new amenity opportunities.
“They will create the next generation of woodlands for future generations of Sheffielders to enjoy.”
Trees will be planted at 17 different sites, including Parson Cross Park, Greenhill Park, Sky Edge Open Space, Manor Playing Fields, Richmond Heights and Westwood Country Park.
All of the new woodland will be accessible to the community and include areas of open space to incorporate ifootpaths, woodland edge habitat, rides and glades.
It is hoped it will further back the council’s hopes of marketing Sheffield as an outdoor city after a recent study found activities such as climbing, cycling, mountain biking, walking and running generate more than £53m a year for the local economy.
Coun Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at the council, said: “We already know that Sheffield is one of the greenest cities in Europe, with two million trees – four for every single person.
“But this tree planting project is further proof of our commitment to enhancing our landscape and environment as much as we possibly can.
“This is especially important at a time when we are cementing our reputation as the UK’s Outdoor Capital City and demonstrating that Sheffield is a city where people can come to walk, jog, ride their bikes and enjoy family days out in an array of fabulous green spaces.
“I look forward to seeing these new woodlands grow and thrive, thanks to the hard work of volunteers and all those involved in this vital project.”
The public is invited to take part in the planting at Worrall from 10.30am to 2pm on Saturday January 17.
Tools and gloves will also be provided on the day for those who attend.