The Labour MP for Hackney, Diane Abbott has spoken out about climate change, warning that “it has already begun” as the borough unveiled plans to plant over 5000 street trees by 2022.
The scheme is run in conjunction with Tree Musketeers, a group of volunteers who plant and care for trees around Hackney Borough. Together they aim to plant 30,000 saplings, 1,000 trees, and over 5,000 street trees by 2022.
Abbott said: “Tree planting on this scale is good for the climate, combats pollution and is a defence against flooding. We urgently need much more action from the Government and globally, but this is a really positive initiative.”
Tree Musketeers highlight the vast list of benefits for planting urban trees; a mature tree can provide enough oxygen in a year for the needs of 10 people, they help to improve air quality by trapping pollutants and toxic particles, trees absorb harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide, research has shown that people recover from illness quicker if they can see trees and green areas and reduce flooding risks.
Trees also have more practical uses, providing shelter and shade, slowing down wind speed and reduce air turbulence around buildings, soften the harshness of the urban landscape and improve the appearance of the borough, attracting both residential and commercial investment.
David Elliott, Chief Executive of Trees for Cities, said: “We are extremely excited to be working with Hackney Council and the Tree Musketeers to create this edible woodland, which will enhance local biodiversity, help in the fight against climate change and air pollution, and will provide local communities with a range of healthy produce to forage for years to come. The leadership that the local authority is demonstrating around trees and green infrastructure is setting a new benchmark that hopefully other authorities will aim to match.”