Here's where more trees are being planted in Blackpool
The greening up of Blackpool has begun with hundreds of new trees already planted around the resort as part of a strategy to boost the environment.
Efforts to break up the urban landscape with vegetation have seen 50 mature trees planted including a number of real Christmas trees, as well as 2,000 trees in open spaces including at Mereside, Claremont and Revoe.
Blackpool Council launched its Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy in 2018 to combat the town’s lack of leaf cover as it was revealed the town has one of the lowest amounts of tree canopy in England.
It is hoped to plant 10,000 trees in Blackpool in coming years, and a progress report suggests a good start has been made.
A survey of all existing trees within the council’s responsibility is set to be undertaken this year to ensure proper management of the current greenery.
The report to members of the Scrutiny Leadership Board also outlines a potential bid for £1m in funding to improve natural habitats at Stanley Park Lake and Lawsons Wetlands.
Meanwile £104,000 has been invested in parks and greenspaces in 2019/20 including the renovation of Claremont Park football pitch.
There was controversy in 2019 when the £100,000 cost of putting 10 trees in Cookson Street in the town centre was revealed, but town hall bosses said specialist systems were needed to embed the roots and prevent them from spreading into the road.
Vegetation has also been lost in some areas such as Mereside where it was chopped back to make way for new council homes being built at Troutbeck Crescent.
The report is due to be considered by councillors on March 11.
Here are some of the achievements of the Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy so far:
* The Park Ranger Service has planted 2,000 trees from the Woodland Trust across parks and open spaces including Mereside, Claremont and Revoe parks.
More than 50 mature trees have been planted across the borough including real Christmas Trees at Crossland Road Park, @TheGrange, Layton and Revoe centres.
* A European Regional Development Fund programme of carbon reduction measures across Grange Park was successful.
This includes an £87,000 tree planting programme due to start in the autumn for more than 2,000 mature and young trees to be planted in open spaces, verges and residents’ gardens.
* An expression of interest has been submitted to the Innovative Flood Resilience Fund for nature based flood management solutions across Lancashire.
The programme includes a £1m scheme to improve Stanley Park Lake infrastructure and the water management of the park and Lawsons Wetlands. If the bid is successful, this work will see new habitat developed and significant improvements to the lake’s recreational and ecological value.
* Anchorsholme Park reopened last year after an extensive renovation by United Utilities following construction of the new pumping station there, while Harold Larwood Park in Caunce Street has also been upgraded.
Work there included new play equipment, removal of the boundary walls to open up sightlines and the addition of tree planting funded by Blackpool BetterStart.
* £104,049 has been invested in parks and greenspaces in 2019/20 including renovation of Claremont football pitch.
* Strong links have been made with both the Wyre and Ribble Rivers Trust whose catchments include Blackpool, with the council securing a place on the steering group for the Wyre Rivers Trust.
Funding was secured by the Wyre Rivers Trust for two hectares of tree planting in Blackpool as part of the wider Lancashire Connect Woodland programme of tree planting across the county.
* Although the Covid pandemic has restricted volunteering opportunities, the environmental volunteer co-ordinator post, which previously focused on Marton Mere, has been reviewed to take a town-wide approach.
The aim is to encourage further park volunteering and support groups to develop and gain new skills across the town.
* Two new placements for young people have been developed working alongside the Park Ranger Service gaining skills in community engagement, horticulture and ecological management.
The roles, which are due to start this spring, are funded through the Kickstart programme in partnership with the Head Start resilience project.
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