Leeds City Council is encouraging people within their household groups or support bubbles to collect tree seeds in their local parks and green spaces to help support the growing of future woodlands across Leeds.
Running until November, residents can collect acorns, beech nuts, chestnuts and conkers, and leave them in seed collection boxes across the city for use as part of the council's Woodland Creation initiative.
Twelve locations with collection boxes have now been set up in the city's green spaces, and can be found at: Farnley Hall; Golden Acre Park; Gotts Manor Tea Room; Kirkstall Abbey; Meanwood Park; Middleton Park; Otley Chevin Country Park; Pudsey Park; Roundhay Park; Skelton Grange Environment Centre; Temple Newsam; and the Arium.
Be sure to look out for flyers throughout these parks that will help to identify the needed seeds. The information is also available on the Arium website.
Once collected, the seeds will be grown into saplings at the Arium, the council's parks nursery, and later planted in green spaces across Leeds as part of the Woodland Creation initiative.
The initiative, which was launched earlier this summer, will see Leeds City Council plan 5.8 million trees over the next 25 years, with the woodlands created across the city helping to reduce Leeds' carbon footprint whilst creating new habitats for birds, animals, insects and plants.
Over 100 hectares of council-owned land has already been identified as potentially suitable for woodland creation, with the first 220,000 trees, which were grown at the Arium, ready to be planted this winter.
Forming part of the ambitious programme to make Leeds a carbon neutral city by 2030, trees planted as part of this project will also be counted towards the White Rose Forest, a joint local authority venture to double tree cover in the Leeds City Region by 2050.
As part of the initiative, a Woodland Creation Teaching Resource, filled with educational games and activities, has been created to help teach children about the greenhouse effect, climate change, the carbon cycle and how trees work.
Additionally, park rangers are planning to hold a number of events including autumn seed gathering workshops for schools, the general public and volunteer groups, as well as winter-spring tree planting sessions, if these can be delivered while adhering to coronavirus restrictions. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment and active lifestyles, said: “When we launched this ambitious tree planting programme back in July, I was incredibly excited by the opportunity to get the people of Leeds involved with reducing our city's carbon footprint and increasing the biodiversity of our green spaces.
"I am therefore delighted to see the collection boxes set up across the city's parks, and hope that people of all ages will get involved by collecting seeds for Leeds' future woodlands in the weeks to come. Being actively involved in the creation of these woodlands represents a unique opportunity to support the city's carbon neutral ambitions, and I hope many residents will take advantage of it."
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate change, transport and sustainable development, said: “We are committed to creating new woodlands across Leeds for all to enjoy, and see large-scale tree planting initiatives like this one playing an important part in our city becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
"The seed collection campaign represents a great opportunity for the people of Leeds to get involved in the strides we are making towards carbon neutrality, and I hope that residents across the city will get involved in a safe, socially distanced way by collecting tree seeds while enjoying the many green spaces Leeds has to offer."