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MEA4TREES - Planting continues for National Tree Week

Pictured is the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Councillor, Peter Johnston with Michael Topping from the Woodland Trust with Parks team, teacher John O’Kane and pupils from Silverstream Primary School.

MEA4Trees is an ambitious tree planting programme which will see 58,000 trees planted over the next few years – that’s one tree for every household in the Borough.

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Peter Johnston and Michael Topping from the Woodland Trust plant the first tree of the season

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Peter Johnston, officially launched tree planting season 2020/21 at Greenisland Allotments on Tuesday 1 December. Cllr Johnston said:

“We are here today to celebrate National Tree Week, to support the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fight Back initiative, and to plant the first trees of the season as part of the MEA4Trees programme.

Pictured are Marlene Gattineau and Denise McVeigh (MEA Parks team), Peter Dickie (Green Pastures), Gavin White (Supervisor Probation Board NI) and Donna Carey (MEA Waste Team)

“Last winter 17,348 native trees were planted across the Borough. We hope to match or surpass that number this year. Council is delighted to continue working with partners Woodland Trust on a range of tree planting initiatives over the next few years. We are keen to hear from landowners, community groups, schools - if you have space for trees on your land, please get in touch to discuss options. If you have a site in mind and some willing volunteers, we may be able to provide the trees.”

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 clean the air by trapping dust, pollen and other pollutants. Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife such as birds, squirrels and invertebrates, 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. More and more research is showing just how important trees are.

The MEA4Trees programme is promoting the importance of trees, helping Council work towards carbon neutral status, and delivering a number of Community Plan Objectives such as Good health and wellbeing; Lifelong Learning; and Our Environment.

Pictured are pupils from Martinstown MQOP PS

Cllr Johnston continued: “I would like to say a special thanks to pupils from Silverstream Primary School for helping out– a tremendous effort.

Pictured are pupils from Silversteam PS

“Our staff will also be out planting trees with the Probation Board NI, Mary Queen of Peace Primary School and the Older and Wiser Women of Glenravel as part of National Tree Week.”

Ian McCurley, Director of The Woodland Trust Northern Ireland, said:

“It’s great to see Mid and East Antrim Council continuing to take action against climate change at a local level and partnering with the Woodland Trust in our Big Climate Fightback and the MEA4Trees programme.

Pictured are pupils from Silversteam PS

“We can all take action against climate change and tree planting is one of the most effective, simple and cost effective solutions. Not only do the trees absorb Co2, they support wildlife, provide outdoor access and are a great way to get communities involved in looking after the environment. The Woodland Trust look forward to working closely with our partners in the Council to plant more trees in Mid and East Antrim.”

Attending the launch were pupils from Silverstream Primary School, Council representatives and Woodland Trust representative Michael Topping.

Pictured are pupils from Martinstown MQOP PS

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