Manchester, England To Grow 3 Million Trees in Next 25 Years

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The city of Manchester, England has a plan to make the city a lot more green. It involves planting three million trees, one for every person in Greater Manchester, over the next 25 years.

The project is called City of Trees, and as director Tony Hothersall explains, there are three primary objectives to planting such such a large amount of trees over the next quarter century.

“One is to plant three million trees, i.e. a tree for every man woman and child, over the next 25 years,” Hothersall explains.

“Next, we are very much focused on bringing existing woodland into management because there is no point in planting new woodland if you can’t manage what you’ve got already.

“Finally, we want to engage people a lot more in their natural environment; in planting trees; in managing areas; in understanding more about the benefits that trees and woodlands bring to our society.”

The idea is that more trees will help to improve air quality, reduce the stress levels of people in Manchester, and encourage people to spend more time outside, both enjoying nature and in retail areas that will be more decorative amidst a sea of trees.

Hothersall cites recent research that indicates green spaces in large cities can improve quality of life for people and implore them to “linger longer in retail areas.”

City of Trees will also help to test whether trees can help to reduce flooding in urban areas. The River Irwell flows through the heart of Manchester and is known to cause flooding at times.

Hothersall says the project is focused on “planting trees wherever it’s appropriate to put trees.” This includes existing woodlands, connecting woodlands, or creating new areas of woodland. There has also been a focus on planting street trees.

City of Trees is currently working with landowners to identify as many places as possible to plant trees. Hothersall says the ultimate goal is to raise awareness for the benefits of woodland areas and make Manchester a better place to live and visit.

“Greater Manchester wants to be a world-class city region,” he says. “We have a lot of fantastic built development going on, but the natural environment needs to keep up with that.”

If other cities want to follow Manchester’s lead and be proactive in creating more green space, well, that may not be such a bad idea either; City of Trees may have something here.