Innovative planting scheme aims to cut air pollution


The Mayor Cllr Maoliosa McHugh pictured at the launch of The Life Tree Project which will see every birth, death and marriage registered in council’s district Registration Offices in Derry and Strabane marked by the planting of an Oak, Rowan or Crab Apple sapling. Included are students design students who worked on the project with Fiona McCann from the Public Health Agency, Mark McCrystal, Enivronemntal Health Officer, DCSDC and James McGarrigle, NWRC Design Lecturer.

A UNIQUE tree planting scheme has been launched to mark the registration of significant life events across the council area.

Initiated by Derry City and Strabane District Council, in partnership with the Public Health Agency and the North West Regional College, the Life Tree Project will see every birth, death and marriage registered in council’s District Registration Offices in Strabane and Derry marked by the planting of a native tree sapling. The scheme is also seen as part of a wider strategy to improve air quality and the public’s mental health.


“I am delighted that council, along with its partners are leading the way with this novel initiative which is a poignant means of marking and remembering the registrations of birth, deaths and marriages in our city and district,” Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Maolíosa McHugh said.

“According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is a major contributor to diseases such as lung and respiratory infections, heart disease, and cancer, there is therefore a responsibility on all of us to make a conscious effort to protect our environment and improve air quality.

“Planting trees can not only decrease air pollution but it improves both the urban and rural landscape and encourages the public to experience the outdoors and the associated health benefits so I am pleased that we are the first council in the North to introduce this scheme.”

Registering families are encouraged to plant the tree at their own property but if they don’t have a suitable location, council will identify alternative sites in its parks and green spaces and plant the tree for them.

Design students at the North West Regional College (NWRC) have had a central role in the development of the initiative which is the first of its kind in the North and will see around 4,000 new trees planted each year. As well as issuing  new trees, the Public Health Agency will issue relevant health literature relating to each registration such as breast feeding information for birth registrations.

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