Cutting carbon footprint with trees

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WEST Sussex County Council is working in partnership with Southern Water to re-launch the Trees for Shade scheme, helping schools and community groups cut their carbon footprint.

The scheme will give schools and communities the opportunity to reduce their carbon emissions by planting trees, also providing shade from the sun during the summer months.

The county council has received funding from Southern Water to carry out the project for the next two years.

It aims to highlight the importance of trees and woodland, their role in the environment and adapting to climate change.

Eighty-nine schools benefited from the scheme before it initially ended in 2009. Communities also benefited with trees planted in parks, recreation areas and community open spaces.

A tree can:

• reduce heating and cooling costs both indoors and out, saving carbon emissions

• drop the summer temperatures under its canopy by up to 10 degrees

• help reduce the risk of skin cancer

• reduce heat reflected from paved areas

Lionel Barnard, County Council Cabinet Member for Communities, Environment and Enterprise, said: “The scheme is important in teaching our young people about the effects of climate change and how trees play a vital role in reducing carbon emissions, while keeping us cool in warm weather.”

Southern Water, based in Worthing, is backing the scheme to help local communities enhance their green credentials, improve the environment and to remind people of the importance of drinking water to stay healthy, particularly during hot weather.

Les Bond, Director of Capital Delivery and Commercial at Southern Water and Vice Chair of the West Sussex Climate Change Board, said: “This is a great project that empowers schools and local communities to take action to reduce carbon emissions in a way that also helps to improve their local environment.

“It is also very important that during hot weather there is plenty of shade to provide protection from the sun and that children and adults alike drink enough water to stay healthy and hydrated.”

For more information, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk and search ‘Trees for Shade’.