Northern Ireland

National Trust to plant 125,000 trees in Northern Ireland

tree
Image caption The National Trust aims to plant 20 million trees across the UK in an attempt to reach "carbon net zero"

The National Trust is to plant 125,000 trees in Northern Ireland over the next decade.

The leading conservation charity aims to eliminate its carbon footprint by 2030.

It intends to source up to 50% of its energy from renewable sources and reduce its level of consumption.

It also plans to increase the area of priority habitat under restoration to 890 hectares and increase its wildflower meadow cover.

The organisation aims to plant 20 million trees across the UK in an attempt to reach "carbon net zero" by 2030.

Other plans include divesting from fossil fuel investments and checking its supply chains to make sure products are sustainably produced.

National Trust director for Northern Ireland Heather McLachlan said the body wanted to connect the city of Belfast to the Belfast hills by developing "green corridors".

This would involve linking land it already owns in the city and developing partnerships with other land owners.

Image caption The National Trust plans to develop 'green corridors' between urban and rural areas

Ms McLachlan said visiting sites like Minnowburn could have beneficial impacts on people's mental and physical health, as well as improving air quality and providing access to wildlife.

"People need nature now more than ever," she said.

"If they connect with it then they look after it. And working together is the only way we can reverse the decline in wildlife and the challenges we face due to climate change."

2020 is the 125th anniversary of the National Trust, which has 100,000 members in Northern Ireland.