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Planning begins for over 600 acres of new woodland

Beech trees in autumn

Plans to develop new woodland in Gateshead are being discussed.

Gateshead Council has met with representatives from the Forestry Commission, the Woodland Trust and Durham Wildlife Trust to discuss developing a partnership with the aim of increasing woodland cover and enhancing existing woodlands within the borough.

The efforts form part of the council's ongoing work to tackle the climate emergency.

Avenues trees Bensham
The Council has already begun to identify suitable Council land on which to create new woodland, and work is also underway on developing a plan to improve and increase the carbon potential and value to people and wildlife of its existing woodlands. 

The independent Committee on Climate Change has recommended that tree cover nationally should be increased from the current 13% to 17% by 2050.  In Gateshead, around 15% of the total area of the borough - more than 2,200ha (5,400 acres) - is already covered by woodland, of which around a quarter is owned and managed by the Council. 

In order to achieve the 17% figure in Gateshead, it's thought that an additional 250ha (618 acres) of new woodland will need to be planted.

Climate change in GatesheadCouncillor John McElroy, Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, says: "We all know that trees and woodlands play an important role in absorbing and storing CO2 from the atmosphere.

"Gateshead is already very well placed in this respect, with 15% of borough already covered in woodland when the average for England as whole is only 10%. But increasing our acreage of woodland to 17% will require a substantial programme of planting and that isn't something the council can do on its own.

"These are still early days, but our meeting with the Forestry Commission, the Durham Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust was very constructive. It won't be easy, but I'm optimistic that we can reach the 17% target by 2050."

He added: "As well as our partners, involving local communities, and in particular young people, will be crucial in our efforts to create new woodland and enhance Gateshead's existing woodland. Climate change is something which is being faced by all of us and it will take all of us to tackle and remedy its effects."

Take part in our surveyWork is already underway. This winter has seen the establishment of a new community woodland on council-owned land at Summerhill in Blaydon. The 2ha woodland has been planted by the Woodland Trust and will be managed by them for the benefit of people and wildlife. 

The Woodland Trust has also been busy planting over 40,000 trees as part of a major extension of its flagship Hedley Hall Wood and Ridley Gill SSSI sites near Sunniside. The tree planting has taken place on former arable land which was acquired by the Trust with support from the Council. 

Beech trees in autumn
17 February 2020

Plans to develop new woodland in Gateshead are being discussed.

Gateshead Council has met with representatives from the Forestry Commission, the Woodland Trust and Durham Wildlife Trust to discuss developing a partnership with the aim of increasing woodland cover and enhancing existing woodlands within the borough.

The efforts form part of the council's ongoing work to tackle the climate emergency.

Avenues trees Bensham
The Council has already begun to identify suitable Council land on which to create new woodland, and work is also underway on developing a plan to improve and increase the carbon potential and value to people and wildlife of its existing woodlands. 

The independent Committee on Climate Change has recommended that tree cover nationally should be increased from the current 13% to 17% by 2050.  In Gateshead, around 15% of the total area of the borough - more than 2,200ha (5,400 acres) - is already covered by woodland, of which around a quarter is owned and managed by the Council. 

In order to achieve the 17% figure in Gateshead, it's thought that an additional 250ha (618 acres) of new woodland will need to be planted.

Climate change in GatesheadCouncillor John McElroy, Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, says: "We all know that trees and woodlands play an important role in absorbing and storing CO2 from the atmosphere.

"Gateshead is already very well placed in this respect, with 15% of borough already covered in woodland when the average for England as whole is only 10%. But increasing our acreage of woodland to 17% will require a substantial programme of planting and that isn't something the council can do on its own.

"These are still early days, but our meeting with the Forestry Commission, the Durham Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust was very constructive. It won't be easy, but I'm optimistic that we can reach the 17% target by 2050."

He added: "As well as our partners, involving local communities, and in particular young people, will be crucial in our efforts to create new woodland and enhance Gateshead's existing woodland. Climate change is something which is being faced by all of us and it will take all of us to tackle and remedy its effects."

Take part in our surveyWork is already underway. This winter has seen the establishment of a new community woodland on council-owned land at Summerhill in Blaydon. The 2ha woodland has been planted by the Woodland Trust and will be managed by them for the benefit of people and wildlife. 

The Woodland Trust has also been busy planting over 40,000 trees as part of a major extension of its flagship Hedley Hall Wood and Ridley Gill SSSI sites near Sunniside. The tree planting has taken place on former arable land which was acquired by the Trust with support from the Council. 

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