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Going Forth to plant 16 million trees

Director of Forth Climate Forest, Douglas Worrall (left), and Dr Heather Reid, Convener of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority, planting the first trees at Glen Finglas.

A ground-breaking initiative led by the University of Stirling will see millions of trees planted across Forth Valley to tackle the twin crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss. Source: Timberbiz

The Forth Climate Forest initiative will facilitate the planting of 16 million new trees to increase the woodland cover across Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk council areas.

The first trees were planted in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park at Glen Finglas near Brig o’Turk on 27 November. Trees were also planted by local authority leaders in Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk last week.

The new trees will help prevent the extremes of flooding and temperatures, purify our air and absorb carbon from the atmosphere, delivering long-term ecological, climate and social benefits.

The tree planting events were held in National Tree Week, the UK’s largest annual tree celebration which sees the country’s conservation sector, volunteer groups and tree-lovers come together to plant thousands of trees to mark the start of the tree planting season.

“This major tree-planting project will boost the amount of carbon we capture and help achieve our net zero targets for the region, as well as protecting and enhancing our stunning natural environment for future generations,” Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Chris Kane, said.

Clackmannanshire Council Leader, Councillor Ellen Forson, said that not only will the planting of these new trees help with efforts in tackling climate change, but it will also boost biodiversity, and could potentially lead to some social benefits for residents in the longer term.

Forth Climate Forest will work with local people, community groups, land managers, businesses, environmental charities and public agencies to plant more trees where they are needed the most.

Forth Climate Forest is part of Scotland’s International Environment Centre at the University of Stirling, a pioneering collaboration that will create an innovation community in Forth Valley, driving the creation of a net zero regional economy and acting as a global exemplar of low-carbon growth.

“Scotland’s International Environment Centre is building a world-class exemplar of a regional transition to net zero ways of living. Nature-based solutions such as the Forth Climate Forest will bring major benefits for people, biodiversity and management of climate change impacts alongside speeding the region’s journey to a low-carbon future,” Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the University of Stirling, Professor Alistair Jump, said.

“The planting of the first trees is an important step on that journey, and we look forward to seeing this exciting project make a difference to communities throughout Forth Valley.”

The Forth Climate Forest covers Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Stirling Councils, as well as a large part of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

Forth Climate Forest is a partnership initiative, hosted by University of Stirling through Scotland’s International Environment Centre.

Funding has been secured, for the first two years, from the Woodland Trust Scotland, Scottish Forestry, Clackmannanshire Council, Falkirk Council and Stirling Council.