The Chief Minister has planted one of the first trees that will form a new People’s Wood (Keyll yn Phobble in Manx) on the Isle of Man.
The project ispart of the Isle of Man Government's response to the climate change emergency and will see 85,000 trees - one for every Island resident - planted at Meary Veg in Santon.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK, said:
‘I am delighted to plant this tree and I look forward to watching the woodland develop overtime into another wonderful amenity for our Island.
‘As these trees grow they will protect and enhance our beautiful Biosphere, boost natural carbon storage and benefit people and wildlife for generations to come.'
The 113 acre (85 football pitches) site will be mainly planted with a mix of broadleaf trees in the coming months, to help offset the Island's carbon emissions.
It is expected that all 85,000 trees will be planted this year by local contractors, with schools and social clubs also lending a hand. People will be able to visit soon after although it will take many years to mature.
In 2020, the Isle of Man Government pledged to reach a target of net-zero emissions by 2050. The plans include a commitment to increase natural carbon capture opportunities such as tree planting and peatland restoration, whilst protecting and enhancing ecosystems.
Geoffrey Boot MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said:
‘The diverse habitat created can play a crucial role in combating the biodiversity and climate crises the world is facing.’
‘It will provide important habitat for insects, birds and mammals, enhance and protect the environment, and create a place people can visit to boost their wellbeing.’
The site will be linked by a series of paths and served by a small car park subject to planning approval. The paths will also link the woodland with the existing coastal path.