THE MAYOR’S TREE PLANTING PROJECT
Mayor’s Free Trees for Communities Scheme
As part of my pledge to South Yorkshire I am committed to planting 1.4 million trees across the region. As part of that plan I am pleased to say that my Mayor’s Free Trees for Communities Scheme is now taking orders. The scheme gives packs of trees to communities across South Yorkshire as part of our plan to make places cleaner, greener and better off.
The first trees were planted in November 2023 at Kiveton Park Community Orchard, to mark the start of the scheme and National Tree Week.
National Tree Week is a stark reminder that despite the incredible technological innovations we’re seeing around the world, trees are still the be-all-end-all of the health of our planet.
Trees are not just a great way to take carbon out of our atmosphere and fight climate change, they also help to protect against flooding, promote biodiversity, and improve wellbeing.
In South Yorkshire we’re on a mission to plant as many trees as possible. In fact, we’re aiming to give-away 30,000 trees for community groups to plant this winter alone.
Native trees and woodlands are one of the best ways of combating climate change. By having an abundant supply of trees, we are able to better mitigate the impacts of a changing climate through reducing flood risk in river catchments and reducing street temperatures in our urban centres.
What is the Mayor’s Tree Planting Project?
In my manifesto I committed to planting 1.4 Million trees in our region.
That’s one tree for every one of you who lives here. By doing this, by increasing the number of trees and the amount of woodlands we have, it will make our communities greener, safer, and better off. Trees are not just a great way to take carbon out of our atmosphere and fight climate change, they also help to protect against flooding, promote biodiversity, and improve wellbeing.
We are now in a position to launch that project, and it’s no easy feat.
Why should we plant trees?
Native trees and woodlands are one of the best ways of combating climate change. Trees absorb carbon directly from the atmosphere and keep it locked up, whilst also helping our landscape adapt to the impacts of a changing climate through reducing flood risk in river catchments and reducing street temperatures in our urban centres.
We face an ecological crisis, with our wildlife facing extinction pressures at an unprecedented rate, yet quality woodlands support a huge breadth of wildlife, plants, fungi, birds, mammals and insects.
Our own personal wellbeing is affected by our proximity to natural spaces too. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can help relieve stress, reduce anxiety and depression and improve recovery rates from physical injuries.
Air pollution is a major problem, particularly in our urban centres and transport corridors. Trees planted in the right places can help improve urban air quality on a local scale by forming a barrier between people and pollutants. They can also remove some particulate pollution from the air by catching the tiny particles on their leaf surfaces, reducing the impact of pollution on childhood asthma.
How much woodland do we need?
The Climate Change Committee’s Sixth Carbon Budget recommends 18% canopy cover across the UK by 2050, in South Yorkshire we currently have less than 11%. Talking in Hectares, that means going from 16,500 Hectares to nearly 28,000 Hectares
Where will we plant all these trees?
Work undertaken by the SYMCA and partners has identified that there are opportunities for woodland creation across the region, including linking up or expanding existing wooded areas, as well as creating brand new woods.
How will we do this?
As with all our responses to the Climate Emergency we’ll only do this by working together, so I need you to help me with this challenging goal.
We intend to harness the skills, enthusiasm and pride of the people, businesses, community groups, schools and landowners in South Yorkshire.
Along with the free trees for communities, we are part of the South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership, who provide free woodland creation help to landowners in South Yorkshire. Find out more information on SYWP here.
Can you help? Get in touch
Do you have something specific to contribute, or would just like to know more about this work? Then fill in this form below to be kept informed, my team will contact you to talk about how you can become part of my project.
Helping the Mayor’s Free Trees for Communities
How can you help – Community group, Land owner, Sponsorship, Just interested, etc