Edinburgh Million Tree City
Edinburgh Living Landscape is supporting the city’s ambitious target to become a Million Tree City by 2030.
In October 2021, Lord Provost Frank Ross planted a tree in the grounds of Lauriston Castle alongside representatives of the Edinburgh Million Tree Forum who pledged their commitment to making sure Edinburgh will be home to one million trees by the end of the decade.
Edinburgh already outstrips other Scottish cities by having more trees per head of population – there are currently more than 730,000 urban trees compared to around 519,000 residents. Increasing the number of trees in the city will help lessen the impacts of climate change by providing cooling during heatwaves and surface water management for heavy rainfall, as well as some carbon storage and new homes for wildlife.
The Edinburgh Million Tree Forum is made up of representatives from Edinburgh Living Landscape, City of Edinburgh Council, the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust, the, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Trees of Edinburgh, Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Conservation Volunteers and the Woodland Trust who are working together on an updated vision for trees in Edinburgh and to find ways of planting more trees, more quickly.
The Tree Time Edinburgh initiative, set up in partnership with Edinburgh & Lothian Greenspace Trust and the Woodland Trust, aims to raise public and corporate support for planting trees. A range of packages are available for people to adopt an existing tree or plant a new tree.
In the same week of the Lord Provosts tree planting, a ‘Wee Forest’ of 600 trees was planted in West Pilton Park by the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust. Wee Forests are a tennis-court sized areas of densely planted and fast-growing native trees. They increase biodiversity by including a range of tree species, decrease the impacts of climate change by providing shade, and store carbon and water. They will be key to achieving the goal of the Million Trees City and will also provide opportunities to enjoy nature, benefiting people’s mental health.
There are plans for further Wee Forests, funded by Earthwatch UK and NatureScot, throughout the city. The locations have been chosen using the new Edinburgh Nature Network, developed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, to identify areas where tree planting would enhance and/or connect existing areas of woodland, and where improvements are needed in terms of health and well-being and air purification.