Group bids to plant a million trees in Belfast
An ambitious scheme to give Belfast a green makeover began yesterday with the planting of the first of a million trees across the city.
The Belfast Metropolitan Residents Group (BMRG) aims to complete the challenge in 15 years.
Yesterday, four oak trees were planted to start the 'Million Trees for Belfast' endeavour in the Mount Eagles play area in Lagmore Glen.
Peter Carr is the chairman for BMRG - an umbrella group for community panels in the metropolitan area - and said he hoped the project would capture the public's imagination.
"We think it's the perfect compliment to the increased densification of the city," he said.
A motion in support of the plan will be put to Belfast City Council next month. It's hoped it can run in tandem with the council's new city development plan.
"This will make Belfast a lusher and more beautiful city, it will reduce flood risk and extend natural habitats.
"It will also improve our physical and mental health by producing cleaner, more breathable air."
He added: "It's also about sending out a signal that Belfast is reinventing itself as a city to be proud of."
SDLP councillor Brian Heading helped to plant the first four trees yesterday and is bringing the motion to council next month.
"It's an excellent environmental project," he said.
"It sets a goal for different organisations and I'm asking the council to take a lead.
"We already plant trees in our public parks, so I want to find out how quickly we can reach that target."