ECO-CONSCIOUS council chiefs have drawn up an ambitious plan to ensure trees and woodland play an increasingly important role in the community.

Trees and woodland have a significant effect upon the quality of life within the area, a recent North Ayrshire cabinet meeting heard.

They are helping in the council’s quest to become carbon net zero by 2030, supporting biodiversity, providing an attractive environment, contributing to regeneration and improving health and wellbeing.

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To help contribute towards carbon net zero, the local authority has a target to introduce 108,000 new trees as part of North Ayrshire’s 2030 Woodland project.

That enables the council to outline how it will use its responsibilities and manage its tree and woodland stock in a sustainable way.

The current tree and woodland management policy was approved by cabinet in 2013 and has been in use since that time, but was due for review at the 10-year point.

There is more acknowledgement now of the ambition to reach net zero by 2030 in the new guidelines. It’s stated that trees should be replaced with like-for-like alternatives where possible and the complaints process has been amended and is now aligned with the already-established North Ayrshire Council complaints procedure.

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Leader Marie Burns welcomed the changes.

She said: “We get a lot of questions from constituents about trees so it’s really good to see a review of the policy and some of the issues that have been incorporated into our policy.

“It also reminds us of our ambition in terms of planting trees.

“We are a council that has declared a climate change emergency and we know the importance of trees in terms of carbon sequestration.”