OTLEY Chevin is one of a dozen places that have been chosen to play a key part in growing future woodlands.

Leeds City Council is aiming to plant 5.8 million trees over the next 25 years to help cut the area’s carbon footprint while creating new habitats.

And the authority wants residents to get involved in the Woodland Creation scheme by collecting acorns, beech nuts, chestnuts and conkers and leaving them in seed collection boxes across the city.

Collection boxes have now been set up at 12 locations: Farnley Hall; Golden Acre Park; Gotts Manor Tea Room; Kirkstall Abbey; Meanwood Park; Middleton Park; Otley Chevin Country Park; Pudsey Park; Roundhay Park; Skelton Grange Environment Centre; Temple Newsam; and the Arium.

Flyers are being provided at each site to help people identify the required seeds and details are also available at www.theariumleeds.co.uk/woodland-creation.

Once collected, the seeds will be grown into saplings at the Arium – the council’s parks nursery – before being planted out. Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment and active lifestyles, councillor Mohammed Rafique, said: “When we launched this ambitious tree planting programme back in July I was incredibly excited by the opportunity to get the people of Leeds involved with reducing our city’s carbon footprint and increasing the biodiversity of our green spaces.

“I am therefore delighted to see the collection boxes set up across the city’s parks and hope that people of all ages will get involved by collecting seeds for Leeds’ future woodlands in the weeks to come. Being actively involved in the creation of these woodlands represents a unique opportunity to support the city’s carbon neutral ambitions and I hope many residents will take advantage of it.”

Over 100 ha of council-owned land has already been identified as potentially suitable for new woodland with the first 220,000 trees, grown at the Arium, ready to be planted this winter.

This story first appeared in the Ilkley Gazette.

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