Council branches out for Christmas
’Tis the season to be green. Residents, schools and community groups are being given an early Christmas present next Sunday (30 November) in the form of 3,500 trees.
The giveaway, run by Tameside Council, hopes to give the borough’s tree coverage a much-needed boost.
Martin Watkins, the council’s environmental co-ordinator, said: “In relation to many other areas of the country and Greater Manchester, tree coverage in Tameside is poor. “We don’t have access to great big sweeps of land where we can go and plant woodland but if everyone puts one or two trees in their garden it’s the equivalent. It helps wildlife and it helps the planet as well.”
Residents have 10 domestic varieties to choose from - maple, hornbeam, alder, silver birch, hawthorn, bird cherry, wild cherry, crab apple, rowan and whitebeam.
The feathered whips, around 1.5m tall, are bare rooted and need to be planted as soon as possible after collection. Instructions for planting and fertiliser will also be handed out so all residents need to bring is a bin bag.
Well, well. What a classic line - "In relation to many other areas of the country and Greater Manchester, tree coverage in Tameside is poor". This is the same Council that wants to trash Swallows Wood for the Bypass - an Ancient Semi Natural Woodland and an important habitat for wildlife with thousands of trees. And this is ignored and instead, individuals are urged to plant trees in penny numbers here and there.
One is immediately reminded of Roy Oldham's comments during his 2006 State of the Area Address when he announced the eventual planting of 10,000 trees to 'compensate' for the loss of Swallows Wood and also to 'offset' the CO2 emissions increase caused by the bypass. Except his sums were wrong - one of our backroom pixies worked out that 6.7 million trees would be needed to accomplish this - they would cover 1600 hectares, an area roughly the size of Glossop!
But there's a seed of a good idea in there. How about we start planting and sowing - here there and everywhere? Without permission, without warning, we should take this plea literally...