2012 resolution to get more trees in our cities


As part of their Love Trees campaign, Trees for Cities need help to plant 20,000 trees in 2012 to make our cities healthier. Charlotte Reid has more.

Trees for Cities, a charity that encourages people to plant trees, is asking for donations to help them plant 20,000 trees this year.

The charity says that over Christmas, eight million real trees are bought each year. They are asking people to donate the amount it costs for a real Christmas tree, around £30-50, as part of their Love Trees campaign.

The charity, which was set up in 1993, manages sustainable projects across the UK and Ireland, as well as in Addis Ababa, Nairobi and Ica and Peru.

The broadcaster Jon Snow, who is a long-time supporter of Trees for Cities, says the charity helps to “improve the urban environment”.

It’s not just about the number of trees planted – Trees for Cities puts the local people and communities at the heart of every project that they do. I have seen the positive impact of their work in making our cities better places to live.

It is all too easy to take trees for granted in our urban environment but they are the lungs of cities and perform a new role in mitigating climate change, reducing climate change, increasing health and wellbeing.”

There has been a rise in sustainable urbanism, ways of making towns and cities more environmentally friendly. Recently Blue & Green Tomorrow looked at Manhattan’s High Line – a park built on an historic freight rail line.

However, Kaarin Taipal, who has a PhD in Urban Studies and is the former chair of the Marrakech Task Force on Sustainable Buildings and Construction, wrote in The Guardian that progress is far too slow to create sustainable cities.

Although Trees for Cities talks about the waste of Christmas trees, 160,000 tonnes each year, the Environment Agency has found a use for them. They have successfully trialled recycling old Christmas trees as flood defences in Cumbria and Cheshire.

The trees are used as a green alternative to using heavier metals. They place the trees alongside riverbanks to help reduce erosion. Mike Farrell, fisheries officer at the Environmental Agency, explains the positives of the scheme: “Homes are being protected from flooding whilst new habitats are being created for mammals, fish and invertebrates.”

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