Over 1,500 trees planted in West Midlands virtual forest

The West Midlands Combined Authority commitment to the environment has blossomed as more than 1,500 trees have been planted in its virtual forest.

At the start of the year, the WMCA launched a new website that allows authorities, residents and businesses to register trees they have planted. Since then more than 1,000 trees across the West Midlands have been established. The virtual forest is part of the authority’s plan to be carbon neutral by 2041.

The #WM2041 commitment  includes ambitious tree-planting programmes including one tree planted for each resident, and plans for a national park, building on the work of Birmingham City University. The plan also includes developing more eco-friendly homes, including introducing a zero-carbon standard for new-build homes.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “With communities starting to see the impacts of climate change, more and more people are becoming aware of the need to make changes that preserve and enhance our environment. There is a lot of good work happening across the region on growing our green spaces, and we hope this website will help to highlight this and our work, to try and make the West Midlands one of the greenest places to be in the UK. Reaching more than 1,500 trees in a short space of time is a good start, and I am pleased we are heading in the right direction towards achieving our #WM2041 carbon neutrality goal.”

Geoff Cole, Birmingham Trees for Life chairman, said: “We welcome the virtual forest highlighting the great work people do across the region planting new trees, and hopefully encouraging more people to become involved. Our charity has planted almost 100,000 trees in the city over the past 14 years in conjunction with schoolchildren, volunteers and communities. With so many trees being lost to development, old age and disease, it is crucial that as many of us as possible plant new ones to help fight climate change and to ensure our children and grandchildren have a green and healthy environment to grow up in.”