PLANT more trees to help reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere – that’s the message to Warrington Borough Council from local Liberal Democrats.
They had put forward a motion on tree planting to the council meeting in March that was cancelled due to the pandemic so it was never considered.
Eventually it was considered at a “virtual” meeting on June 22.
Appleton councillor Judith Wheeler said: “I have simply asked for details of the council’s tree planting strategy and how it is being put into effect.
“Twelve months ago it declared a climate emergency and resolved that by 2030 it would be carbon neutral in its operations and activities.
“The word ‘tree’ did not appear in the terms of reference agreed later on. Trees have the ability to soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which means they are an important and low cost way of combating climate change.
“We want the council to use any available land that is not suitable for development or for community use to be planted with native British trees. We want it to undertake a borough-wide audit with private landowners to identify other suitable sites.
“The council must work alongside parish and town councils, schools and voluntary groups to encourage community ownership and a sense of pride in our environment. It must also co-operate with government agencies and charitable organisations such as the Woodland Trust, DEFRA and the Forestry Commission to source funding for planting.
“A tree planting strategy must also address replacing those trees on our roads which have been felled due to accident, age or disease. Increasingly we are seeing unsightly stumps. Tree lined streets are not only aesthetically pleasing but serve as a valuable means of absorbing pollution.”
Cllr Wheeler said the council had now responded to her question and said new plantings are incorporated into development proposals and are part of key environmental initiatives within existing and developing local plans.
But the current policy was last updated in January 2016.
She added: “The world has moved on a great deal since then and we need a revised strategy, which takes into account the new thinking about climate change. A renewed interest in nature by residents is one of the positive outcomes from the pandemic.”