Wakefield Council's next step forward for 600,000 new trees in the district

Plans to plant 600,000 trees across the Wakefield district in the next four years will be discussed by senior councillors.

Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 2:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th July 2021, 2:56 pm
Wakefield Town Hall
Wakefield Town Hall

As part of its commitment to become a carbon neutral organisation, Wakefield Council will plant hundreds of thousands of saplings in the Wakefield district the equivalent of around 400 football pitches - by 2025.

The council is supporting the expansion of the White Rose Forest - as part of its commitment to take action on climate change. It declared a Climate Emergency in May 2019 and resolving to become a carbon neutral authority by 2030.

Planting trees helps to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Forests can also improve water quality, help storm and flood water management, improve ecology, boost people’s health through being outdoors and support walking or cycle along green routes.

Coun Jack Hemingway, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: “It is very positive that we are now at the stage to take another step forward with our plans, as we’ll discuss funding arrangements for this major project at our meeting.

“Mass tree planting will bring long term benefits to our district – it will support the environment, nature and our commitment to tackle climate change in our district and will also give residents further opportunities to enjoy our countryside.

“Carbon captured by the trees in the White Rose Forest, plus investment in offsetting projects, will contribute towards our ambition to make Wakefield a carbon neutral authority.”

Other projects will support the goals of securing low carbon or net zero carbon development and decarbonising the council’s operations in line with its Climate Change Action Plan.

At their meeting on July 20, councillors will discuss funding proposals for the council to submit an application for grant funding each year to the White Rose Forest Partnership for tree planting and tending.

If agreed, councillors would approve the offer of grant funding each year. The money would reimburse the Council for the costs it incurs from implementing the project.

Members of Wakefield’s Cabinet are meeting virtually on Tuesday, July 20 at 10.30am to discuss the plans. The meeting can be watched live or later on the council’s website.