Mayor of Greater Manchester speaks out in support of tree planting on day of Green Summit

21 March 2018

Mayor Andy Burnham has praised efforts to bring more greenery to Greater Manchester on the day of the inaugural Green Summit, which saw Mr Burnham announce his ambitions for making the region one of the greenest in Europe.

Employees from Audenshaw-based Brother International Europe spent today (Wednesday 21 March) planting hundreds of new trees in partnership with environmental charity City of Trees at King George Recreation Ground in Tameside, Greater Manchester.

The employee volunteer day forms part of the print and technology specialist’s environmental programme.

The activity coincided with the Green Summit, which brought together environmental experts, academics and other interested parties to advance green ambitions for Greater Manchester.

Mr Burnham said: “From local schoolchildren to big industry, we need pledges large and small to help make Greater Manchester one of the greenest city-regions in Europe. Planting trees, reducing use of plastics, moving to a renewable energy supplier using our Greater Manchester Big Clean Switch website – everyone can do something. And it really will be take a group effort from us all, because only by working together will we be able to achieve that ambition.

“Our Green Summit will set the path we take to reduce our carbon emissions, drive down our use of plastics, and improve our beautiful green spaces. The City of Trees project is fantastic initiative that’s really captured people’s imagination and perfectly sets the tone for what we want to achieve here in Greater Manchester – a modern, green city-region.

In addition, today, 21 March, marks the United Nation’s International Day of Forests, which celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests with the 2018 theme forests and sustainable cities.

Brother International Europe employees spent the day planting 300 new sapling trees including oak, birch, hazel, bird cherry and hawthorn. It adds to planting undertaken at the site by Tameside Council last year to create a community woodland. The trees will add diversity to the woodland, as well as being good for wildlife.

Gail Owen, who project manages employee volunteering events at Brother International Europe, said: “Giving back to our local community and protecting the environment is of great importance to us all at Brother. As well as offering employees a fun team building day away from the office, the activities demonstrate Brother’s environmental commitment and our “At your side” motto.”

Andy Long of City of Trees said: “With these new trees taking root on both the day of the Green Summit, and the International Day of Forests, we hope it highlights the important role trees and woods play in making our towns and cities healthier and happier”. He adds; “This is why City of Trees is on a mission to plant 3million trees – one for every man, woman and child across Greater Manchester”.

Cllr Brenda Warrington, Tameside Council’s executive leader, said: “This authority has long been committed to improving the borough’s environment to make Tameside a better place to live and work. “Trees are a key feature of that vision. They improve the look of our streets and open spaces, and offset carbon emissions by fostering greater biodiversity. The creation of a community woodland by Tameside Council last year will be greatly enhanced by the initiative of Brothers employees and will be enjoyed by generations of Tameside residents in the future.

“I would like to thank Brother and Brother’s employees for their time and help with this very worthy cause.The new trees planted form part of the new Northern Forest - a 25-year vision to plant 50 million trees across the North of England, stretching from Liverpool to Hull."

The tree planting has also been supported by DEFRA. You can contribute to your thoughts on the Green Summit by tweeting using #GMGreenCity