The Mayor of West Yorkshire supports plan to plant seven million trees by 2025 to help tackle the climate emergency

The equivalent of 4,900 football pitches of trees could be planted over the next four years.

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, has thrown her support behind plans to plant more than seven million trees by the White Rose Forest partnership to help tackle the climate emergency. 

The White Rose Action Plan 2021-25 sets out how tree planting can be accelerated across the region over the next four years to build up to a sustained annual target of approximately 3000 hectares per year from 2025 onwards. 

This will help West Yorkshire reduce its overall carbon emissions and achieve its ambition of becoming a net zero carbon economy by 2038 at the latest. 

The White Rose Forest Action Plan was launched at The Arium in Leeds, where over half a million young saplings are currently being grown by Leeds City Council for the White Rose Forest.  

The Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: “When I was elected, I pledged to do everything in my power to tackle the climate and environment emergency. Last month, I launched the West Yorkshire Climate and Environment plan to set out how we will transition to a net zero carbon economy by 2038.   

“The importance of trees for our environment, the wellbeing of our communities and the future of our planet cannot be overestimated. This was underlined by the recent global commitment to end and reverse deforestation at the UN COP26 climate summit.  

“With the funding and expertise now available via the White Rose Forest partnership, we have never been in a better position to plant more trees here in North and West Yorkshire and enjoy the huge benefits they provide.”   

Guy Thompson, White Rose Forest Programme Director, said: “There has never been a better time to plant trees thanks to the competitive funding and support now available for landowners and farmers. The White Rose Forest partnership is here to support all landowners in North and West Yorkshire.” 

“The White Rose Forest Action Plan is ambitious because we need to respond to the climate emergency. As a community forest, our local communities are at the heart of everything we do. Every tree planted in the White Rose Forest will benefit communities across North and West Yorkshire, from helping prevent flooding along river valleys to improving the air we breathe.” 

Councillor Derek Bastiman, North Yorkshire County Council’s Executive Member for Business and the Environment, said: “Working in partnership across West and North Yorkshire enables us to create the plan for the White Rose Forest at the scale necessary to have a significant impact. 

“We’re setting ambitious targets, but I am confident that the public and landowners, whose participation is essential for the White Rose Forest to reach its potential, will embrace the opportunities and benefits afforded to combat climate change and support the diversity and sustainability of the natural world, which is so important to our daily lives and the economy of North Yorkshire.”  

The White Rose Forest is supported by a partnership of experts from the Forestry Commission, national park authorities, local government, charities, community groups and businesses in North and West Yorkshire who have all contributed to the Action Plan. The Action Plan is backed by increased funding for tree planting within the White Rose Forest following the launch of the Government’s Nature for Climate fund in 2020. 

To read the White Rose Forest Action Plan 2021-25 visit www.whiteroseforest.org/actionplan