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A million trees could be planted across Wigan by 2030.

The council, which declared a climate emergency last year, wants to plant saplings for every person aged under 18 in the borough - 80,000 - in the first year.

Trees will be planted in parks, nature reserves and green spaces after young people expressed concerns for the future of air quality in the borough.

The first batch of trees were planted in Walmsley Park last week by pupils from Ince CE Primary School.

Tulisa, 11, is a member of the school’s eco-club, which has taken part in several activities to help the environment - including creating a bug hotel.

“I think it’s a good idea to plant new trees as trees help us in lots of different ways such as providing us with oxygen and giving homes to lots of different creatures,” she said.

“It’s important to help the environment."

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Proposals for Walmsley Park will see 6,300 trees planted - equating to one of every person under-18 and over-65 living within the ward. Another 7,000 trees are planned for Alexandra Park.

The latest efforts follow on from Wigan council’s support for the Big Climate Fightback in November which saw 500 free trees donated to volunteers and community groups as part of National Tree Week.

Council leader David Molyneux (Image: M.E.N.)

Coun David Molyneux, leader of the council, said: “The world needs more trees, not only are they vital as a home for wildlife and nature, they improve the quality of our air, reduce flood risks and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“The impact of climate change is already causing serious damage around the world and authorities at national, regional and local all have a duty to act.

“But it’s not just a case of responding to climate change, it’s about increasing our biodiversity and making our borough a cleaner and greener place to live.

“This is just the beginning of the council’s efforts to ensure residents benefit from better air quality and a more sustainable future.”

The council will hold its first inaugural Green Summit this year along with the latest Eco-Schools Conference, which engages children from an early age on the importance of becoming more environmentally friendly.

A ‘cleaner, greener and more sustainable’ Wigan borough was given as one of the things most important to residents as part of the council’s Big Listening Project survey last year.

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