MILLIONS of trees will be planted across Forth Valley, as part of a University of Stirling led initiative to tackle climate change.

The Forth Climate Forest initiative will oversee the planting of 16 million new trees to increase woodland across Clackmannanshire, Stirling and Falkirk.

The new trees will help prevent the extremes of flooding and temperatures, purify our air and absorb carbon from the atmosphere, with the first trees being planted in Alloa.

A planting event was held at Wimpy Park in the town as part of National Tree Week, a celebration that sees thousands planted by volunteer groups and tree-lovers.

Clacks Council leader Cllr Ellen Forson was on hand to plant some of the first trees during the event on Wednesday, November 29.

She said: “I am delighted to see our woodlands being increased through the Forth Climate forest.

“Clackmannanshire Council declared a climate emergency and recognised climate change as one of the most serious challenges back in the summer of 2021.

“The council is working towards a greener future and the Forth Climate Forest aligns perfectly with that commitment.

“Not only will the planting of these new trees help with our efforts in tackling climate change, it will also boost biodiversity, and could potentially lead to some social benefits for our residents in the longer term.”

The trees will be planted in school grounds, on vacant and derelict land and across parks, with the Forth Climate Forest working alongside local people, community groups and businesses encouraged to get involved.

Doug Worrall, director of Forth Climate Forest, said: “The Forth Climate Forest is a new, ambitious, tree planting initiative for the Forth Valley area.

“Over the next 10 years, we aim to plant 16 million trees across Clackmannanshire, Stirling and Falkirk council areas to help tackle the twin crisis of climate change and biodiversity loss.

“We want to plant these 16 million trees where they are needed most, so that neighbourhoods can cope with extreme weather events, so that there is a network of connected woodlands where wildlife can thrive, and so that we are on track to achieve net zero targets.

“The great thing about tree planting is that everyone can get involved, meaning that everyone can do something positive to fight climate change and help stop the decline of our wildlife.”

Funding for the project was secured by the Woodland Trust Scotland, Scottish Forestry, Clacks Council, Falkirk Council and Stirling Council.

More information can be found at the University of Stirling website.