New strategy will make a TREE-mendous effort towards a greener future

Monday 29th November 2021

As part of National Tree Week, Ards and North Down Borough Council is launching its new Tree & Woodland Strategy, which features the exciting initiative STAND4TREES.

The Mayor is with a group of school children planting a tree

This initiative, which will run until 2032, is aimed at ensuring improved tree cover within the Borough and helping to promote the importance of trees.  

STAND4TREES is an ambitious yet achievable tree planting and promotion initiative that will engage local communities to help increase and enhance the level of tree cover on Council land and that of other agencies and private landowners.  One of the actions within the STAND4TREES initiative is to plant a tree for every person in the Borough, that is approximately 160,000.  

National Tree Week, which runs from Saturday 27 November to Sunday 5 December is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration.  Across the country, people are planting thousands of trees to mark the start of the winter tree planting season.   

If we are to avoid climate breakdown, we need more trees.  The good news is that we can all make a difference!  Whether you plant a tree in a pot on your doorstep or a hedge in your garden, every tree will help us grow a greener future together.  In the New Year we plan to organise some events where you can join with others and plant as a team – keep an eye on social media for more details.  But lots of local residents are already getting involved!  We are very grateful to Bangor Brownies Club; Bangor Rangers; Bangor Soroptimists; Comber Cub Scouts; Grey Abbey Primary School; Greyabbey and District Community Association; Greyabbey Village Hall Management Committee; Killinchy Women’s Institute; North Down and Ards Solicitors; NIFRS Officers and PSNI Officers; who, over the past ten days, have been tree planting with Council staff in Castle Park, Greyabbey Orchard and Killinchy.       

On Thursday 25 November the Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Mark Brooks joined pupils from Abbey Primary School, Newtownards, in a special tree planting event at Whitespots Country Park.  The trees will be part of the new ‘NI100 Centenary Garden’ in the Park, marking the 100 years since the formation of Northern Ireland. The ‘NI100 Centenary Garden’ will include a community orchard for wildlife, a sculpture, interpretative signage and a path network that links to the existing Whitespots car park.  The orchard for wildlife is a great way to bring the community together and offers wildlife a year-round harvest.   

The Mayor said: "Trees are so important to our landscape and the Council is committed to promoting the importance of trees, and providing opportunities for people to get involved in tree planting and management. Our Tree & Woodland Strategy recognises the importance of trees, the many benefits they afford us and the critical role they can play in mitigating the effects of climate change. This strategy is required to ensure the Council’s limited budget is focused on positive planting programmes and managing tree care and risks." 

“Next year is going to be a big year for trees. The Queen’s Green Canopy Campaign has been set up as part of celebrations for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. This nationwide community campaign to ‘Plant a Tree for The Jubilee’ is gathering pace with plans across the Borough in 2022.” 

"Trees are good for people and the environment. Trees can improve air quality by producing oxygen, storing carbon, moderating the effects of sun and wind and they clean the air by trapping dust, pollen and other pollutants. Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife such as birds, squirrels and insects, as well as for people. Trees have been proven to increase property value and to help relax people by lowering heart rates and reducing stress." 

"Tree planting season continues from now until March and planting trees is one of the easiest and most sustainable ways to positively affect the environment.  Why not get out and plant a tree yourself?   Pick a native species such as oak, elder, and hawthorn and our local wildlife will thank you for it.  Join us and STAND4TREES." 

To find out more about tree planting in Ards and North Down and to read our Tree & Woodland Strategy visit: