Schoolchildren from across the Sheffield City Region have been invited to plant trees to mark the hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War.
Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, Dan Jarvis, has teamed up with the Woodland Trust to write to more than 600 schools, urging them to take part in the tree-planting scheme this autumn.
The Woodland Trust provides the saplings as well as advice and support, meaning there is no cost to those schools that choose to get involved.
Mayor Jarvis said: “Linking this Woodland Trust tree planting initiative with the one hundredth anniversary of the end of the First World War will be a powerful symbol of reflection and remembrance, as well as providing a fantastic opportunity to inspire our young people about the environment and the role that woodlands and forests play.
“By investing in our forests and woodlands we invest in a healthier, happier and more productive future, bestowing a legacy we can proud of.”
This Armistice Day tree planting is part of a wider effort to create a Northern Forest across the industrial North of England.
There is a growing movement of community groups, businesses, politicians and local communities working to plant 50 million trees for the Northern Forest by 2043, in what is Britain’s boldest woodland creation drive for a generation.
This forest will stretch from Liverpool and Manchester, over the Pennines, through the Leeds and Sheffield City Regions across to Hull.
In March this year, Mayor Dan Jarvis was proud to be part of the team taking part in the first planting of this new forest, and is now ensuring that Sheffield City Region plays an important role in the project.
The Mayor added: “Over the coming months and years I intend to put in place plans for the planting of a million trees in the Sheffield City Region. This will ensure that we play our full part in creating this new Northern Forest.
“This is an important mission. It is one that businesses, communities, and politicians from across the political spectrum, from parish councils to Westminster, must now become a part of.
“Recent moorland fires that have damaged some of the newly planted Northern Forest remind us that our environment is fragile. Which is why it’s crucial that we invest in our woodlands and forests just as we do with our roads, railways and runways.
“By doing so we can mitigate the impact of flooding, reduce pollution and reconnect our communities with our own natural environment.”
Dr James Cooper from the Woodland Trust said: “The Trust’s First World War Centenary Woods project – one of the most ambitious in the charity’s history – is seeing millions of trees planted across the UK to honour all those involved in the First World War.
“The project will connect people to the natural world, whilst reminding them of the historical significance of the war. Those tree packs planted by schools across Sheffield will also form part of the plans to create a new 50 million tree Northern Forest.
“We encourage all schools to order their packs and become part of something big.”
Schools wanting to take part in the Armistice Day tree planting should apply before 15 August. An online link for schools to take up the initiative is available here.