Faith communities unite at major environmental tree planting launch

Faith communities across the Bradford area came together with community leaders and schools representatives to help launch a new Bradford Cathedral Tree Planting Project at the weekend (Saturday 25 November).

Six hundred trees were planted on a Bradford Council owned site at Gaisby Lane -Canal Road in the city with a mixture of species including native oak, wild cherry, Norway maple, silver birch, sessile oak and hornbeam.

The Cathedral’s aim is to offset its carbon usage by planting trees and last month they received a highly commended award at the Church Times Green Awards held at Lambeth Palace, the London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Among those taking part in the new tree planting launch was the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Abid Hussain (pictured top left), who said “As Lord Mayor I am delighted to be here this morning.  The benefit of having trees is that they Improve our air purity by removing harmful dust and pollutants such as carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide from the air we breathe.  Many thanks to everyone taking part this morning.”

Leading the practical task of planting were the ‘Forest for Bradford’ group whose main problem in planting trees has been finding land where planting can take place.

Canon Mandy Coutts of Bradford Cathedral (pictured below left on the left), said, “We discovered that Forest for Bradford’s biggest challenge is not planting trees or even raising money to plant trees, but finding land to plant.

 “This challenged us to do some ‘out of the box’ thinking to progress the project. We concluded that we needed to look for other organizations to form partnerships…. Negotiations began between the Cathedral, Bradford City Council and Forest for Bradford, looking at different parts of the scheme, conducting risk assessments and building up trust with each other. In March 2017, Bradford City Council granted a license to plant up the Gaisby Lane site, along Canal road to create permanent woodland.”

She added, “I have been overwhelmed by the community’s response to today.  ‘Planting today for tomorrow’s future’….  Looking forward to future planting days and watching the trees grow.”

More than forty people took part in the tree planting launch with several faith and community leaders. Comments and commendations included

“Great project from Bradford Cathedral Church planning to do this wonderful job of planting trees.” (Satwan Singh        (Sikh Society))

“What a fantastic event! We need billions or trillions of trees and harmonious planting!  It was a great honour to be involved in such a great service for planet earth.  Thank you.” (Baldev Singh)

“It’s great to be here with Bradford Cathedral tree planting project. Lots of volunteers and the sun is shining on this blessed work!  As a Windhill and Wrose Councillor I’m really grateful that the Cathedral has chosen here to plant.  It’s well used by the community, and adding to our ‘green lung’ next to Canal Road is a great idea. May the trees strengthen and prosper as our community does likewise!” (Cllr Susan Hinchliffe              (Leader of Bradford MDC))

“It is a wonderful opportunity to get involved do something ‘good’.  As a community and being on this planet and looking after the environment.”  (Sukhdev Singh - Ramgarhia Gurdwara)

“Sharing in this planting breathes life into this project to refresh and bring a new life for the scholars who pass here every day on their way to prepare for life’s journey.” Mike de Villiers (for Bradford Grammar School and Oasis Academy Lister Park)

“Today has been a fantastic day of Harmony in Oneness, a true Unity in the Community working alongside Forest of Bradford volunteers and members of Bradford Cathedral planting trees to conserve the environment and secure the future of our children.             Look forward to working together in the future for the betterment of the community and Humanity” Mohinder Ram            (Centre of Oneness, Sant Nirankari Mission)

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