Edinburgh to build on "greenest city in UK" tag with more trees

Edinburgh City Council has responded to recent criticism of its tree policy with a pledge to increase tree numbers.

Image: Tom Parnell (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Image: Tom Parnell (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Writing yesterday (7 January) in the Edinburgh Evening News, Edinburgh City Council leader Adam McVey said: "We’ll bring forward plans this summer to expand tree numbers within our city centre and across our communities.

"We’re already the greenest city in the UK and our aspiration is to build on our success, helping nature flourish and improving our urban landscape."

The council came in for widespread criticism in October when it agreed to the felling of over 50 trees in the central Princes Street Gardens, to allow access improvements to the adjacent National Galleries.

Twenty-two semi-mature trees are now due to be planted as part of the improved landscaping.

"An inaccurate, albeit understandable, narrative has emerged around our city’s value of trees," said McVey.

"Edinburgh has more trees than people and, importantly, there are more than 7,000 additional trees in the Capital since the 2017 [general]  election."

In November the council approved a motion to investigate the feasibility of installing CityTree natural air-cleaning green walls in the city, following their deployment elsewhere in the UK, including in nearby Musselburgh in autumn.

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