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Telford recognised by United Nations for forestry practices

Telford has been recognised as a ‘Tree City of the World’ by The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations along with the Arbor Day Foundation.

Beech Tree
Beech Tree

Telford joins an international network of towns and cities dedicated to fostering the best urban forestry practices, including New York, Buenos Aires and Canberra. In total, 168 cities across the globe were recognised this year, including 21 in the UK, with Telford among 50 towns or cities to receive the accolade for the first time.

The Arbor Day Foundation is the world’s largest non-profit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Both organizations came together in 2019 to found Tree Cities of the World. The programme is a global effort to recognise cities and towns committed to ensuring that their urban forests and trees are properly maintained, sustainably managed and duly celebrated.

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Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation, said:

“Trees are important to people, no matter what country they are from or what language they speak. We all want to live in a city that is healthy, resilient, and beautiful – trees serve as a common language to make that possible.

“Being recognised in the Tree Cities of the World programme means that your town or city is committing to go above and beyond to define trees as critical green infrastructure for your citizens.”

Planting trees in a metropolitan area comes with a myriad of benefits beyond the recognition of this programme. Increasing the number of trees in a community can help reduce costs for energy, support flood water management and assist erosion control. In addition, the programme provides a network of like-minded city leaders in urban forestry to celebrate and share best practices to cultivate greenery in the community. Tree Cities of the World aims to create more green spaces in urban areas by recognising the cities that do it well.

Telford has earned recognition as a Tree City in the programme’s third year. To earn the status, Telford demonstrated its commitment by meeting programme standards: establish responsibility for the care of trees, set rules to govern the management of forests and trees, maintain an updated inventory or assessment of local tree resources, allocate resources for a tree management plan, and hold an annual celebration of trees to educate residents.

Cllr Carolyn Healy, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for climate action, green spaces, heritage and leisure, said:

“This is wonderful recognition of the work put in by many of our teams including our dedicated tree officers, ecologists and locality officers. Our thanks also go to the ‘Friends of’ groups who are pivotal in new tree plantings and their aftercare in our Local Nature Reserves, and to the many local organisations and individuals who have used their own land to plant trees.

“We’re so lucky in Telford and Wrekin to have the benefits of both urban and rural life right on our doorstep, and our new status as one of the world’s ‘tree cities’ sums that up nicely.

“As a council, we have prioritised protecting our natural environment and, through habitat restoration projects, wildlife support, green space investment and skilful tree management, we are doing more than ever to support biodiversity, capture carbon and make our local environment even more attractive and enjoyable.

“I’m delighted Telford has achieved Tree City of the World status, but this isn’t the end – there’s always more to be done. So we will continue to care, protect and invest in our green infrastructure for everyone’s benefit.”

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