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Bristol Mayor launches tree-planting drive

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Bristol has become the first city in the world to adopt the One Tree Per Child initiative after Mayor George Ferguson approved the plans to plant 36,000 saplings

The former RIBA president has backed plans for every schoolchild in the city to plant at least one tree as part of the city’s role as the European Green Capital for 2015.

The project is part of a global campaign, founded by Grease star Olivia Newton-John, aimed at getting children around the world to plant trees.

Ferguson said: ‘When I stood to be Mayor in 2012, I proposed that every Bristol primary school child should be given a tree to plant - that is 36,000 trees across 130 schools. We are now taking this concept to another level as the launch city for the global One Tree Per Child initiative.

‘Bristol’s role as the European Green Capital for 2015 makes us the ideal city to adopt this vision. Planting trees and shrubs is a great way for school children to connect to the environment and their local community. As a child’s tree grows, their commitment to the environment and their local community grows as well.

‘I very much look forward to working with Olivia and others to inspire and educate our children about the importance of planting for our urban environment and for their future wellbeing.’

Speaking from Australia about the Bristol launch, Newton-John said: ‘Society benefits when young children get out, get their hands in the earth, and plant trees. Planting trees and shrubs is a great way for kids in Bristol to connect to the environment and their community.

‘That’s why it’s so exciting for us that Bristol will be the first city in the world to roll out the One Tree Per Child project. In years to come, the children who plant a tree will be able to look back and say “that was my tree - I really made a difference!”’

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