Glasgow plan to protect city's trees backed - despite admission there is no budget

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Implementation of Glasgow’s Forestry and Woodland Strategy (FWS) could face some obstacles as the city council has no budget to deliver it.

During yesterday’s (Thursday's) city administration committee meeting, a report presented to members highlighted that although £250,000 has been made available through the LEZ to implement tree canopy expansion in the city, there was no budget allocation to deliver the wider aims of the FWS.

The FWS, which was approved yesterday, will not only help to protect the city's trees and woodlands, but also guide investment in new planting and bring economic, environmental and social benefits to Glasgow.

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Developed in part as a response to the climate and biodiversity emergencies - the strategy was created through engagement with the public, stakeholders and other organisations and features a delivery plan for the actions which will increase tree canopy cover in Glasgow.

The FWS will identify woodlands of high nature conservation value in Glasgow; develop, conserve and enhance woodlands; consider how the resilience of the city's woodlands can be improved; and expand woodlands to provide multiple benefits to their local area.

During the meeting, councillor Frank McAveety raised concerns that there was no budget available to deliver the wider FWS aims and actions.

He said: “So in principle we agree with the FWS aims and welcome that we have put that as one of our strategic priorities.

“Is there anyway in which you could enlighten the committee? We could find resources in assisting this very important future of long term sustainability for the city.”

Councillor Angus Millar advised members that the FWS is a planning framework and the council would look for grants to help implement it.

He said: “That’s not to say the council has no resources whatsoever to deliver actions that are aligned to the forestry and woodland strategy. We will receive grants from various sources to support the planning of trees throughout the city for example and that is taken forward by the greenspace and biodiversity team within NRS.

“The tree plan, which was approved by the committee a couple of years ago, recognises the need to increase and diversify the range of sources of funding the council has access to in order to support the tree plan and FWS.”

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