The 58,000th tree has been planted marking the completion of the MEA4Trees programme. This ambitious tree planting programme was launched by Council in December 2019 with the pledge to plant 58,000 trees – one tree for every household in the Borough – in partnership with the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr William McCaughey, planted the final tree at Diamond Jubilee Wood Whitehead on Friday 8 April. Woodland Trust representatives and Parks & Open Spaces staff also attended and planted an additional 200 trees on site.
The Mayor said: “I am delighted that the MEA4Trees target has now been reached, after just 28 months, with 58,000 trees planted across the Borough. All the trees planted as part of this initiative are native species, which was a crucial aspect of the programme to ensure that biodiversity in the Borough benefits, and to assist climate change and carbon capture targets.
“The success of the programme is certainly thanks to the extensive partnership in working with The Woodland Trust, as well NI Farm Forestry, the National Trust, community groups and schools. I’d also like to extend my thanks to council staff and community volunteers across the Borough who have been planting extensively over the past two winters.
“Tree planting will continue and the message remains the same – landowners, community groups, schools, if you have space for trees on your land, please get in touch to discuss options. If you have a site in mind and willing volunteers, we may be able to support this through our partnership with the Woodland Trust.
“Council looks forward to continuing to working with the Woodland Trust, and we have some exciting new tree planting initiatives coming up later in the year so watch this space.”
Paul Armstrong, Public Affairs Manager with the Woodland Trust, said: “The Woodland Trust wants to increase tree cover in Northern Ireland and we are delighted that Mid and East Antrim is now home to an additional 58,000 native trees through the MEA4Trees programme.
“It’s great to see the Council take action against climate change at a local level as trees are one of the most effective, simple and cost effective solutions. Trees have many benefits, they absorb carbon, provide habitats for wildlife and outdoor spaces for local communities. We look forward to continuing our work with Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.”