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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Tree-mendous tree planting part of Council’s ‘Climate Canopy’ project!

Fruit trees being planted beside the famous Motte in Harryville.
Fruit trees being planted beside the famous Motte in Harryville.

Members of Carson Community Group and staff from Mid and East Antrim Borough Council rolled-up their sleeves last week to plant six native fruit trees beside the famous Motte in Harryville – as part of Council’s tree-mendous ‘Climate Canopy’ project!


The aim of the Climate Canopy Project, is to ensure there are more trees and woods throughout Borough and the area’s ancient woodlands are restored. The project will boost green spaces to help with residents’ health and wellbeing and will work with communities to create woodland and green spaces in their localities – which will soak up harmful carbon and combating pollution.



The event was funded by the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund which aims to encourage the planting of more trees, and the creation of more green spaces, across the Borough.


Kneeling at front - Susan Lynn, Tree and Woodland Officer and Ronda Rainey (Carson Women's Group) Back row - Cllr Rodney Quigley (Carson Project), Christina McNeilly (Carson Women's Group), Kim Berry (Carson Women's Group), Cyril Rainey (Carson Project) and John Allen (Harryville Residents Association).
Kneeling at front - Susan Lynn, Tree and Woodland Officer and Ronda Rainey (Carson Women's Group) Back row - Cllr Rodney Quigley (Carson Project), Christina McNeilly (Carson Women's Group), Kim Berry (Carson Women's Group), Cyril Rainey (Carson Project) and John Allen (Harryville Residents Association).

Chair of Council’s Direct Services Committee, Councillor James McKeown, said:


“We would like to thank The Woodland Trust for contributing funds of £297,700 to our ‘Climate Canopy’ project.


“Living close to a green space was so important to many residents during the Covid pandemic. Now, getting outside and planting, maintaining and enjoying trees will help communities thrive, with research showing that increased tree cover is vital for improving health and wellbeing.



“I am delighted to see this community group kick-start our Borough-wide ‘Climate Canopy’ programme, which will deliver both extensive tree and hedgerow planting and improved management of our existing woodland.


"This work is key in helping to soak up harmful carbon,combat pollution and alleviate flooding in the years to come. The work we will carry out over the next two years will provide much needed natural habitats and wildlife havens - plus it will have huge benefits for residents.”


Planting gets underway.

Woodland Trust Outreach Officer Jo Boylan adds:


“We are delighted to have awarded funding to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s ‘Climate Canopy’ project. The Climate Canopy 4Million Trees project aims to plant 400 hectares of trees to develop woodland connectivity and increase canopy cover throughout the Borough.


"It aims to increase tree cover from 6% to 8% - with particular attention paid to ancient woodland, which will be highlighted with increased protection, promotion and better management. The project also aims to replant neglected hedgerows and rejuvenate existing hedgerows, creating a minimum of 5km of native hedgerows per year.”



Cyril Rainey from The Carson Project, Ballymena, said:


“Our group is committed to making our environment a better place for our members and neighbours. We will endeavour to teach members how best to maintain the trees and enhance the green space on our doorstep, to enable us to improve health and well-being outcomes locally.


"We recognise the need for us to connect with nature and preserve surroundings for future generations.”



For further information or if you would like to plant some tress on your land please contact: Susan Lynn, Tree and Woodland Officer


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