Bristol might only be European Green Capital for 2015, but thanks to a £60,000 project from by the University of Bristol, the green legacy will live on for future generations.
Hundreds of new trees will be planted across the city by the University of Bristol over the next three years to mark the city’s year in the spotlight.
The University is pledging £60,000 for the tree planting. 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 council expenditure have meant that street trees lost due to disease and other elements, and 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.”
Thanks to the idea by Dr Tarlton, the University has now pledged to replace trees across the city, as well as finding locations for new ones.
He added: “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. The project will see some of the planted trees fitted with interactive QR codes which can be scanned using smart phones. The Tree Walk would then allow visitors to follow links to web pages which would be filled 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.”
People in Bristol are now being asked to help pick locations for trees to be planted, which will then eventually become part of the interactive Bristol Tree Walk.
Professor Squires added: “We want to choose the sites for trees in partnership with local communities, so please contact us if you have ideas about areas that would benefit.”
The University of Bristol is part of a city-wide initiative to make Bristol a world leader in sustainability as part of its year as European Green Capital.
Contributing to the collective efforts of more than 800 organisations, the University is hosting a series of events, seminars and public debates of the matter of sustainability. From research tackling environmental uncertainty, through to voluntary community projects that see students engaging with residents, the University has pledged its commitment to the lasting legacy of Green Capital.
To suggest an area which could benefit from new trees, email email@example.com with a short supporting statement.