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NEWS ROUNDUP: 7 million trees for Yorkshire


Leeds local news | 7 million trees, the equivalent of 4900 football pitches or 3500 hectares, could be planted in North and West Yorkshire over the next four years as part of an Action Plan launched by the White Rose Forest partnership.

The White Rose Forest Action Plan 2021-25 sets out how tree planting can be accelerated across the region over the next four years to build up to a sustained annual target of approximately 3000 hectares per year from 2025 onwards.

Beyond 2025, research undertaken by the partnership suggests that North and West Yorkshire has the capacity to increase tree canopy cover from 11% (recorded in 2018) to 19% by 2050. This would mean planting approximately 160 million trees over the next 29 years.

The UK Government has committed to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and tree planting is currently the most effective method we have to remove carbon from the air. The White Rose Forest partnership therefore commissioned the United Bank of Carbon team at the University of Leeds to scientifically assess how much CO2 could be removed from the atmosphere through tree planting across North and West Yorkshire. The results suggest that if we increase tree cover to 19%, by 2050 931 kilotonnes of CO2 could be sequestered annually, equating to 50% of the remaining residual carbon emissions within the region.

The White Rose Forest is supported by a partnership of experts from the Forestry Commission, national park authorities, local government, charities, community groups and businesses in North and West Yorkshire who have all contributed to the Action Plan. The Action Plan is backed by increased funding for tree planting within the White Rose Forest following the launch of the Government’s Nature for Climate fund in 2020.

The launch of the White Rose Forest Action Plan 2021-25 took place at The Arium in Leeds, which is the largest local authority nursery in the country with capacity to grow over 3 million plants per year. With increasing demand for locally grown saplings, Leeds City Council is now looking at how The Arium can support more White Rose Forest projects. More details can be found here.



£180,000 in grants are available as Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, has launched the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund.

Financed by money recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act within the county, the fund offers grants of up to £6000 to voluntary, community groups, charities and partners to provide support for innovative community safety projects.

These projects should address at least one of the cross-cutting themes within the draft Police and Crime Plan 2021-24. Those themes are:

  • Keeping women and girls safe.
  • Diversity, equality, and inclusion.
  • Early intervention and prevention.

 Tracy Brabin, the Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “I am so pleased to be able to make this funding available to local groups.

“A share of £180,000 can now be applied for by grass root projects based in the heart our communities.

“These groups carry out some of the most innovative and direct work targeting complex issues. This could be providing diversionary activities for those at risk of offending, local road safety initiatives or improving safety for women and girls, the possibilities are endless.

“My time as an MP and the Mayor of West Yorkshire has meant that I’ve met many of these groups, but they don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Hopefully this funding opportunity goes some way to acknowledging their crucial contributions as well as allowing further work to take place.

“I’d also like to say a big thank you to West Yorkshire Police, and specifically the Economic Crime Unit. Without their help in recovering ill gotten gains from criminals, the fund would not exist.”

The Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund is financed through money and assets recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) by West Yorkshire Police and prosecutors.

T/ACC Damien Miller of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We welcome the launch of the Mayor’s Safer Communities Fund which will allow local groups and projects to play an ever greater role in the partnership response to tackling key issues at a grass roots level in our communities.

“The focus on projects intended to enhance women’s safety, diversity and inclusion and crime prevention, is also very welcome and very much in sync with the force’s priorities.

“It is right and proper that cash generated by criminal enterprise in communities is invested back into making those neighbourhoods safer and in preventing future offending.”

The closing date for applications to the fund is on Friday 17th December. Grants will be distributed to successful applicants at an awards evening in March 2022.

To find out more about the fund, and to apply, visit https://www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/policing-and-crime/mayor-s-safer-communities-fund.



Leeds City Council is launching a public consultation on the next stages of the proposed Connecting West Leeds scheme, which would see a series of improvements to the A6120 Leeds Outer Ring Road between Fink Hill in Horsforth and Dawson’s Corner in Pudsey.


The ambitious Connecting West Leeds proposals aim to reduce peak-time congestion and delays on this busy section of the Outer Ring Road, while vastly improving the infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists and linking the surrounding communities including Horsforth, Rodley, Calverley, Farsley and Stanningley, with alternative travel choices. The proposed improvements will also maximise other, separately funded investments at Dawson's Corner, and part-fund the well-progressed improvements at Horsforth's Fink Hill junction at Broadway, which is due on site in the spring.

The plans being consulted upon include:

  • Easing congestion at Horsforth roundabout through an extension of the southbound merge on the A6120 towards Rodley.
  • Improvements for pedestrians and cyclists between Horsforth and Rodley, joining the controlled crossings at the Rodley and Horsforth roundabouts.
  • A proposed footbridge will link into Calverley lane which leads onto Calverley Millennium Way footpath as well as connecting the communities of Calverley and Farsley.
  • A new ramped link for pedestrians and cyclists to the Leeds/Liverpool canal towpath - a busy cycle route to/from Leeds’ urban areas and Apperley Bridge – a change that will increase accessibility from Horsforth and Farsley.
  • Measures to complement the changes by planting and landscaping improvements along the Connecting West Leeds Corridor, aligning with the Leeds City Council Greening strategy.
  • An overview of all the proposals which are part of the Connecting West Leeds project, the remainder of which will be consulted on in more detail in spring 2022.

Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for infrastructure and climate, said:

“The Connecting West Leeds programme will bring important, positive changes to the transport network in Horsforth and Rodley, improving traffic flow and the reliability of public transport while at the same time providing safer options for pedestrians and cyclists, which encourage more active travel.

“The proposed changes will also help reduce pollution by reducing peak-time congestion, contributing to our efforts to cut carbon and become a net-zero city by 2030. I would encourage the local community and everyone who uses these roads to take part in our consultation and help shape these improvements.

“These schemes demonstrate our commitment to delivering much needed improvements for residents, employees and visitors across Leeds - including widespread walking and cycling improvements. This engagement begins an ongoing conversation to help us deliver these schemes quickly to start making a difference for local people.”

Anyone interested in learning more and commenting on the proposals can do so in several ways. The dedicated webpage connectingwestleeds.commonplace.is contains full details of the proposals, and comments can be provided by following the ‘have your say’ link.

A public drop-in event is also being held at St Margaret’s Church Hall, Church Lane, Horsforth, between 2pm and 7pm on Wednesday 24th November 2021.

The public consultation will run for four weeks, with a deadline for feedback by 12th December 2021.

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