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Council will be asked to take leaf out of Rotherham’s book and do this

Council will tonight (Monday) be asked to take a leaf out of Rotherham’s book and developing a tree and wildflower planting scheme.

The plan will be aimed at combating climate change and enhancing biodiversity within the borough.

And Rotherham Borough Council is being used as an example of how this could be achieved after they planted along eight miles of motorway, saving £23,000 per year on grass cutting costs.

Sinn Féin councillor Bróna Haughey, who is chair of the Environmental Services committee, is tabling the motion.

“Every day we see how climate change continues to affect millions of lives around the world with hurricanes, forest fires, droughts, flooding and other natural disasters,” councillor Haughey explained.

“Society needs to make huge changes to the way that we live to reverse the effects of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and damage caused to our eco systems.

“We need to take drastic action to reverse the effects of climate change and only last Friday we saw an estimated four million people march in towns and cities across the world, calling for such action.

“Unfortunately, deforestation has been ongoing for centuries on this island, reducing forest cover to a meagre 6.5% in the six counties.

“This is dire in comparison with other European countries such as Sweden which has 69% of forest cover or France which has 37% of forest cover.

“Trees absorb and store carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere and is one of the most effective solutions to climate change.

“Council can play a role in changing this and making an impact on climate change in using our green spaces to plant trees as well as ensuring that community groups are aware of council schemes for planting also.”

“Wildflowers provide habitat for pollinators, insects and wildlife, which is important for ecosystems and their revitalisation.

“I am calling on council to replant and rewild areas across the borough to enhance our biodiversity. This can be done in a number of ways, but one example that is proving most effective is in Rotherham Borough Council which has planted along eight miles of motorway, saving £23,000 per year on grass cutting costs.

“I am asking Council to consider links with the Department of Infrastructure to consider such schemes such as those in Rotherham, using native species of wildflowers”.

Concluding councillor Haughey appealed to all elected representatives to support the motion.

“I am asking elected representatives to agree to have Council to investigate possible initiatives of this nature in the hope of doing our share in combatting climate change and damage to our eco systems.”

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