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Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs & The Environment, Richard Lochhead, visited Aberdeen today (Friday 26 March) to help plant some of the first of around 94,000 trees that will help provide city residents with a cleaner, greener future.
Creating 8 new, mixed species woodlands – covering an area 20 times the size of Pittodrie Park and spread right across the city - the project is a partnership between Forestry Commission Scotland, Aberdeen Greenspace and Aberdeen City Council.
Part funded by the Scotland Rural Development Programme (SRDP), the project will help to meet the objectives of the Commission’s Woods In and Around Towns programme.
It will also make a major contribution towards delivering Aberdeen City Council’s pledge to plant a tree for every citizen of the city.
Mr Lochhead said:
“This is a really exciting project that shows how Scottish Government funding can help to revitalise our cityscapes and create greener, healthier environments for everyone.
“Many of the woodlands being created will be in the middle of communities - in one case right underneath a tower block – so they will provide a focal point for community involvement, leisure and recreation.
“They will also soften the urban environment and – by soaking up around 15,000 tonnes of CO2 over 50 years - help provide a greener, cleaner future for the people of Aberdeen.”
In addition to a £180,000 SRDP grant, the project benefits from a £67,000 contribution from the recently increased Community Woodland fund.
Additional funding has been contributed by Aberdeen Greenspace (£62,000) and Aberdeen City Council (£25,000).
Aberdeen City Council is to organise a series of planting days at most of the sites giving local communities and schools the chance to plant a tree and make their contribution to the greening of the city. Contact the City’s Ranger Service for further details.
Alister Clunas, Aberdeen Greenspace Chief Officer said,
“We are delighted to support this project as it will create additional ‘green lungs’ for the city as well as providing new habitats for wildlife. Aberdeen already has some wonderful parks and greenspaces and this project will make a significant contribution to increasing the quality of greenspaces in the city.”
1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate and manages the 665,000 hectare national forest estate. The Commission’s woodlands are making a difference to the well being of Scotland’s people and their communities. Local woodlands act as a catalyst for communities to meet up, get involved with projects and volunteering, or simply enjoy the many walking trails, bike rides and peace and quiet that forests and woodlands can offer. By developing more woodlands, especially near towns and cities, woodlands can also improve healthier lifestyles and bring a boost to urban development across Scotland. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland
2) Aberdeen Greenspace is a small environmental charity, established in 1998, based in Aberdeen and funded mainly through the Landfill Community Fund. It works with organisations, local communities and individuals to secure environmental improvements to greenspaces in Aberdeen through improved access, planting native trees and shrubs and providing interpretive material on the natural environment.
3)The 8 new woodlands will cover 45.67ha and feature a mix of species, including oak, ash, rowan, cherry, birch and hazel as well as Scots pine, norway spruce.
4) For more information about the Commission’s WIAT programme, visit www.forestry.gov.uk/wiat
5) Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0131 314 6507