Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Plan to remember loved ones with Edinburgh trees

Sophia and Hugo from Flora Stevenson School helped launch the initiative Image copyright Greg Macvean
Image caption Sophia and Hugo from Flora Stevenson School helped launch the initiative

Nature campaigners in Edinburgh have come up with a way to remember lost loved ones while helping the environment.

The Tree Time scheme would see donors contribute towards the planting and upkeep of Edinburgh's trees.

Plaques to commemorate friends and family would be placed on living trees rather than on wooden benches.

It is hoped the idea would increase the number of street trees in the capital.

The pilot project is being run by the Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council and Woodland Trust Scotland.

Its aim is to increase and maintain the city's trees by offering a way to mark a loved one's life, a child's birth, celebrate a special anniversary or even just show how much a person cares about trees and Edinburgh as a place.

People donating to the scheme can pay anything from £20 to £5,000, which will go towards planting more trees in Edinburgh as well as looking after existing trees in the city, with an initial focus on planting more street trees.

Victorian times

The higher end of the donation scale offers the opportunity to sponsor an existing tree or pay for a new tree to be planted. A personalised, commemorative plaque will be placed on the tree in recognition of the donation.

Charlie Cumming from Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust said: "Urban trees are crucial in providing green corridors and make up some of the capital's most famous streets, landmarks and gardens.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Campaigners would rather see living trees used to remember lost loved ones than have trees felled to make benches

"Many of those trees were planted in Victorian times, so are now reaching the end of their natural lives. For example, 100,000 of Edinburgh's trees are deemed to be in a critical condition or dying.

"Tree Time Edinburgh aims to work with partners in order to raise funds to begin planting now, the estimated 6,500 trees per year required to compensate for those we lose. We want to plant large, prominent trees in local streets, before the existing ones die."

Cammy Day, deputy leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "Just last month Edinburgh became the first local authority in Scotland to sign the Charter for Trees, Woods and People and our commitment to protect, enhance, cherish, nurture and increase trees in the city is unwavering.

"There are already more trees than people in Edinburgh - 650,000 trees compared to 513,000 people - and they add enormously to our wellbeing and quality of life. We've planted thousands of trees and whips since June 2017 and are determined to keep investing in more."

Tim Hall, head of estate and programmes for Woodland Trust Scotland said: "We are delighted to support this scheme. The climate crisis raises many challenges for society with some tough decisions to be made, but the easiest thing we can do right away is get more trees in the ground."

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