Welwyn Hatfield given top tree prize by UN

PUBLISHED: 12:34 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 12:34 13 March 2020

Trees around Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: WHBC.

Trees around Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: WHBC.

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Welwyn Hatfield is one of six boroughs in the UK to be given ‘Tree City of the World’ status by the United Nations.

Trees around Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: WHBC. Trees around Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: WHBC.

The award recognises the council's commitment to planting and high standards in caring for the borough's urban trees.

A 'Treeconomics' report, assessing the benefits of Welwyn Hatfield's trees, found that it would cost around £27m to replace them and that they capture 3,384 tonnes of CO2 per year - the equivalent of 1,328 people driving a car for over 10 years.

Welwyn Hatfield borough councillor Stephen Boulton, executive member for environment, said: 'We're thrilled to have our approach to trees recognised in this way and I believe it reflects how deeply the council and our residents care about the borough's environment.

'We're very fortunate to have such a vast array of beautiful trees and we will continue to do everything we can to protect what we have and encourage our tree landscape to flourish for the future.'

Trees around Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: WHBC. Trees around Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: WHBC.

The Tree Council will also host a conference in WGC to mark the UK's first Plant Health Week with keynote's from environmentalist Jonathan Drori and chief plant health officer at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) Nicola Spence.

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The event, which is open to all, will welcome volunteer Tree Wardens and members of the public, who love planting, protecting and caring for our trees and natural environment.

Sara Lom, CEO of The Tree Council said: 'We're delighted to be partnering with Welwyn Hatfield during the UK's first ever Plant Health Week and proud that their sympathetic and forward-thinking approach to trees has been internationally recognised.

Trees around Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: WHBC. Trees around Welwyn Hatfield. Picture: WHBC.

'The health of the UK's trees is fragile and it's vital that we are all aware of what simple actions we can take to help protect them. Plant Health Week is a perfect opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of tree health - which not only benefits wildlife and the environment but also our own wellbeing and economy.

'If we work together, we can be the first generation to leave the environment in a better state than we found it.'

The conference entitled 'Healthy Trees, Healthy Places, Healthy People' will take place on Wednesday, April 22 at the Council Chambers and can be book online here: eventbrite.co.uk/e/healthy-trees-healthy-places-health-people-tickets-97089694891.

This week also marks the launch of the Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation's 'City of Trees' project, which has seen new walks and trail maps designed to celebrate the beauty and variety of WGC's 19,000 trees.

Further information will be available at an event in the Howard Centre in Welwyn Garden City on Saturday, March 14.


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