Galtres Festival's TREEMENDOUS planting gets underway

The first of hundreds of trees funded by Galtres Festival were planted on Sunday, in a joint initiative with Treemendous York.

Youngsters and residents from York joined friends of the Galtres Festival, which takes place in Crayke each year, to help plant fruit trees in their local youth club - all as part of an initiative to help make York greener, healthier, more sustainable and even more attractive.

York's New Earswick Youth Club and residents of Red Lodge (Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust), also in New Earswick, helped to plant seven fruit trees on Sunday as part of the city-wide initiative called Treemendous York. Pictured above is Easingwold School pupil Bea Woodcock who joined in.

The project will allow young people who attend the youth club to prune and maintain the trees, which include Victoria Plum trees, Conference Pear trees and Katy Apple trees, so they can see the trees develop and grow. The hope is for local residents and youth club members to then be able to enjoy the large quantities of fruit produced by the trees in a few years' time.

Everyone who bought tickets for this year's Galtres Festival was invited to pay an additional £5 to fund tree planting, as a voluntary carbon tax. Through this initiative £1,400 for Treemendous was raised which will pay for around 700 trees to be planted in York.

"Thank you to everyone who funded a tree with their ticket purchase," said James Houston, festival director. "You have helped make York a greener and more beautiful place. And as a festival we are delighted to support Treemendous now and in years to come - we hope to help them reach their goal of 50,000 trees."

Treemendous York was set up with the support of City of York Council in October (working with York Tree Wardens), Edible York, BTCV, Wheatlands Community Woodland, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust and York Environment Forum. The campaign hopes to enlist the support of local residents, schools, businesses, groups and community organisations to achieve Treemendous York’s goal of planting 50,000 trees by April 2014.

Councillor Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for City Strategy at City of York Council, who joined the planters on Sunday, said: “We are fully committed to this campaign and increasing York’s currently low tree cover. This improves the environment and helps mitigate climate change. We’d put a welcome out to any other residents or communities who want to branch out in their neighbourhoods to grow their own trees.”

Kate Lock, chair of the York Environment Forum, said: “This group has brought together the many community groups working under the Treemendous York banner. “We’ve had lots of interest from residents since the launch of the campaign last month. So we are really looking forward to working with York residents and the council to help to transform our city by tree planting wherever we can: whether in people’s front gardens, in our public spaces or by our roadsides,” she said.

“We are confident that under this initiative York will be vastly greener in 20 years’ time: something for us and future generations to look forward to.”

There are many ways in which local residents can get involved including donating trees, helping to plant them and dealing with their after care, giving land for planting and suggesting locations for more planting.
Treemendous York presents an opportunity for businesses to demonstrate their green credentials too. To accelerate the initiative’s growth, local businesses have already pledged their support and more are being encouraged to come forward. First to sponsor the project, alongside Galtres Festival, are the Helmsley Group, Wykeham Mature Plants, B&Q York and Sleightholm Landscapes.

Anyone interested in the initiative is encouraged to pledge their support by emailing: community.planning@york.gov.uk . More information is available at www.york.gov.uk or by calling 01904 551474.

Notes to editors:

1. For more about Galtres Festival visit www.galtresfestival.org.uk

2. For more about Galtres Festival's tree planting initiative visit http://www.galtresfestival.org.uk/local-section.cfm?LocalInfoID=38

3. For more about Galtres Festival's Environment and Conservation Policy visit: http://www.galtresfestival.org.uk/about-section.cfm?AboutUsID=13

4. All media enquiries relating to Galtres Festival should be directed to James Houston, festival director, 07977 408376

5. The report York Economic Vision: New City Beautiful was produced by Professor Alan J Simpson with guidance from a panel of experts including David Chapman, Scott E Adams, Mark Reynolds, Professor Franco Bianchini, Martin Stockley and with support from Rob Cowan, Amy Hall, Julie Barklie, Rob Vint, Dave Gibson and Valerio Simoni in addition to teams within City of York Council, Yorkshire Forward and English Heritage.

6. The benefits of planting more trees include:
• helping to mitigate climate change

• helping to reduce air temperature and create a cooling effect in heat waves.

• filtering and catching air pollutants and releasing oxygen to make the air cleaner

• planting more fruit and nut trees provides food that is local and fresh for schools, communities and individuals

• studies showing that green spaces improve social wellbeing and shorten recovery time from illness

• providing resilient habitats and traffic corridors for wildlife

• reducing the risk of storm flooding by planting trees in floodplains

• providing timber products, renewable fuels and mulches to conserve water and improve composts

• areas with green spaces and trees commanding higher house prices and attracting more inward investment.

• the strongest performing economy in the north
• the best performing children’s services in the north
• the greenest city in the north
• the lowest spending city in the north

All media enquiries should be directed to the council's press office on 01904 551068 or 552005.

·The leader of the council is Councillor James Alexander, with portfolio including Policy, Strategy &
Partnerships and Economic Development & Regeneration on 07729 980229 / 07711 238741
·The leader of the Conservative group is Councillor Ian Gillies on 01904 791512
·The leader of the Green group is Councillor Andrew D’Agorne on 01904 633526.
·The leader of the Liberal Democrat group is Councillor Carol Runciman on 01904 764356
·The Independent Councillor is Cllr Mark Warters on 01904 413370


All media enquiries should be directed to the council's press office on 01904 551068 or 552005.

·The council’s cabinet member for City Strategy is Councillor Dave Merrett on 07765558514
·The Conservative group spokesperson is Councillor Joe Watt on 01904 470426
·The leader of the Green group is Councillor Andrew D’Agorne on 01904 633526.
·The leader of the Liberal Democrat group is Councillor Carol Runciman on 01904 764356
·The Independent Councillor is Cllr Mark Warters on 01904 413370

For further information please contact:
Debbie Manson
Communications & Media
City of York Council
Tel: 01904 552005
Fax: 01904 551064
Mob/out of hours: 07767318082
Email: debbie.manson@york.gov.uk

28 Nov 2011