THE first of 150,000 trees set to be grown at a woodland in Belfast have been planted. 

Woodland Trust bosses joined partners at the Glas-na-Bradan Wood in the Belfast Hills to celebrate the milestone this week, which comes eight months after the conservation charity bought the site. 

With ambitious plans to plant 150,000 native trees on 60 hectares, the development of the space can finally begin following the completion of a public consultation. 

Ian McCurley, director of Woodland Trust Northern Ireland said: “Northern Ireland remains one of the least wooded regions in Europe with just 8.7 per cent woodland cover, compared to 13 per cent in the UK.

Forestry Journal: Ian McCurley Ian McCurley

"Not enough trees have been planted in the past, but things can change and thanks to Halifax, we can now start to create Glas-na-Bradan Wood. Within five years, we will have a fantastic new woodland made up of 150,000 trees for people, nature and climate.”

Halifax has supported the creation of the new native woodland, and its staff will also give their time to plant 28,347 trees alongside the local community this year. 

Jim McCooe, ambassador for Halifax's parent company Lloyds Banking Group, added: "We are proud to partner with Woodland Trust Northern Ireland and are delighted that by the end of 2021 we will have planted over 28,000 trees at the Woodland Trust’s new site in the Belfast Hills.

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"This partnership is part of our overall investment in creating a cleaner, greener UK - financing a green future together. In Northern Ireland, we are delighted to support the creation of an area of woodland within Glas-na-Bradan Wood.”

Councillor Billy Webb, MBE JP, Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbe, said: “Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has pledged to plant one million trees in partnership with the relevant community and statutory bodies and I am delighted to plant one of the first trees in Glas-na-Bradan Wood, which will flourish into a beautiful woodland within the Borough.”


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