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Creating a cleaner, greener neighbourhood on a Stockton estate

To mark the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, a new orchard is underway, with the first trees planted in Stockton-on-Tees.
Tree Week group

National Tree Week, which runs until 3 December, marks the start of the winter tree planting season.

Over the past two years, housing provider Thirteen has planted over 2,000 trees to improve the environment and the green spaces where its customers live.

In its latest project, colleagues and customers have planted 13 fruit trees, including apple, plum, pear and cherry trees, to form an orchard to be enjoyed by residents living close by.

Trees are the most effective natural way of helping to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and in their lifetime these trees will absorb around 700kg CO2e.

Thirteen’s environmental specialist John Woods said: “We’re creating our very own fruit aisle to give the communal back land new life.

“Sadly, this land had previously attracted some incidents of ASB, dumping litter and flytipping.

“It’s close to our customers’ homes, and we hope that it will become a well-used social space, bringing the local community together.

“Green spaces are important when it comes to climate change. They absorb water, so they protect against flooding and provide shade, so they cool the earth down.

“Not only is this project making a positive impact on the environment, by planting trees we’re increasing biodiversity in the green areas we manage, we’re supporting and protecting the natural habitats of birds, bees and insects.”

The project is one of a range of initiatives underway at Thirteen to improve the outdoor environment for residents.

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