SOLIHULL has been handed Tree City of the World status following its urban tree planting programme.
The borough joins 138 cities worldwide, and one of 19 areas in the UK, to be handed the title.
Other places include including Milan in Italy, Sao Paulo in Brazil and Coventry.
The awards are given by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations with the intention of creating an international network of towns and cities dedicated to fostering the best urban forestry practices.
Solihull Council’s Planting Our Future team – which is planting 250,000 trees in ten years to help achieve the council’s net zero ambitions – will celebrate the award next month.
Councillor Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Council, said: “What a wonderful accolade for Solihull, its people and all those who have worked to make this possible – I want to give my personal thanks for the amazing work of the volunteers, community groups and other organisations and my council staff who have supported us on this mission.
“How proud am I at what they have all achieved. When I set the target of 250,000 trees this decade, a year or so ago, I never dreamt it would quite capture the imagination as it has done.
“Trees are good for our health and leisure, for wildlife and are part of what makes Solihull a great place to live, work and spend leisure time.
“This planting season, I am told my team engaged with over 326 volunteers, including schools, businesses, faith and community groups.”
The Tree Cities of the World programme provides a network of like-minded city leaders in urban forestry to celebrate and share best practices to cultivate greenery in the community.
It aims to create more green spaces in urban areas by recognising the cities that do it well.
Chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation, Dan Lambe, said: “Trees are important to people, no matter what country they are from or what language they speak.
“We all want to live in a city that is healthy, resilient, and beautiful – trees serve as a common language to make that possible.
“Being recognised in the Tree Cities of the World programme means that your city is committing to go above and beyond to define trees as critical green infrastructure for your citizens.”
For more information about Solihull’s Planting Our Future programme click here.