A main thoroughfare in Middlesbrough is to become a tree-lined lung for the east of the town.

Almost fifty different varieties of cherry blossom trees are being planted on College Road in Thorntree by Middlesbrough Council as part of wider environmental improvements in the town.

The town was named a ‘Tree City of the World’ earlier this year for its commitment to urban forestry and a 14-point plan has been approved by the authority to further the town’s green agenda.

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston says, “The idea came from a really hot night when I was on College Road with Cllr Graham Wilson chatting to residents and we came up with the idea. Trees are brilliant. They look fantastic, they’re great for mental health and every single mature tree absorbs 20 kilos of carbon from the air. We’re going to do this all over the town.”

Cllr Graham Wilson adds, “I looked at College Road and thought to myself ‘what an ideal road for a line of trees’. I spoke to some residents they had similar thoughts so I contacted the Mayor and now here we have a road with a line of cherry blossom trees. When they are in bloom are brilliant and colourful and will brighten College Road up so long as they left to grow and not damaged.”

Cllr Janet Thompson adds, “It’s great to see new trees being planted in my ward, I’ve had lots of positive feedback from residents. We can never have enough trees particularly considering the contribution they make to reducing carbon.”

Approved schemes to improve the Middlesbrough environment in the 2021-22 financial year include:

  • Sewing 30,000m2 of wild flowers;
  • Planting 15,000 trees;
  • Installation of bee hives across Middlesbrough with a ‘Buzz in Boro’ guide;
  • Purchase electric vehicles to replace fossil fuelled vehicles;
  • Designation of Lower Ormesby Beck as a nature reserve; and
  • Extra work to improve recycling rates.

Also in the plan is work to roll out climate change training to all council employees, work with business to reduce commercial waste and increase recycling and methods to measure and monitor the town’s carbon output.

Pic: l-r Middlesbrough Council’s Darren Moore, Cllr Graham Wilson, Cllr Janet Thompson, Mayor Andy Preston, Cllr Barrie Cooper and Geoff Robinson.