City of York Council sets out proposals to create new community woodland

The local authority says the new initiative could see 50,000 trees planted by 2023

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City of York Council has proposed a new scheme it says could see 50,000 trees planted by 2023.

The local authority hopes to create a new community woodland within York’s boundary, using part of the existing £3 million Northern Forest budget agreed at Budget Council in February 2020.

It would use this funding to buy 150 acres of agricultural land in the West of York, as well as 30 acres of land adjacent to the A1237, and then plant trees on these spaces.

Last July the council joined the Northern Forest initiative, which is a partnership between organisations including Manchester City of Trees, Heywoods, the Mersey Forest, the Woodland Trust and the White Rose Forest –  their main aim is to plant 50 million new trees across the north of England.

Councillor Paula Widdowson, Executive Member for Climate Change and the Environment at City of York Council, said: “In 2019, we committed to the ambitious target of becoming net zero carbon by 2030. Our ambition to plant 50,000 trees within the city boundary by 2023 aids in achieving this aim. The land identified will provide 150 acres of woodland – perfect for visitors and recreational users to enjoy.

“This new woodland will bring health and leisure benefits for residents and visitors, as well as significantly increasing biodiversity by turning farm fields into a fantastic local amenity of diverse broadleaf trees.

The proposals will be consulted upon prior to any approval.