Gateshead Council has committed to considerably increasing woodland cover within the borough. Effectively maintaining existing woodland and creating new woodland can offset some of the carbon dioxide which is contributing to climate change.
Woodlands can also improve biodiversity and help support the physical and mental health of our communities. Gateshead is particularly well provisioned in terms of its existing woodland, and currently supports in excess of 2,206ha of woodland cover, equating to 15% of the total area of the borough. In line with land-use policy recommendations from the UK Climate Change Committee, the council is working to increase woodland cover to 17% by 2050 – approximately 250 hectares (600 acres) of land.
As recognised at our February 2020 Climate Emergency workshop, stakeholders from across the borough support this initiative, and there have been dedicated meetings and workshops on this issue with partner organisations. There is ongoing work to identify potential planting sites, funding opportunities and to ensure sustainable management of existing woodlands.