Cllrs Mark Thomas, Andrea Lewis, June Burtonshaw and Terry Hennegan tree planting in Penlan

Swansea Labour tree planting programme for city community takes root

Thanks to a drive by Swansea Labour almost 150 trees are being planted alongside streets in the city’s Penlan area – and another 250 will follow next year.

Swansea Council is introducing the greenery as part of a plan to improve the residential environment.

The trees, standing 10ft to 12ft tall, have been appearing on and around the green areas of Heol Gwyrosydd during April. Others will follow in nearby streets by the end of 2020.

The planting scheme has been welcomed by the three Penderry Labour councillors June Burtonshaw, Terry Hennegan and Hazel Morris.

In a statement they said: “We welcome the tree planting scheme in the Penlan area. Swansea Council has been upgrading homes and now we are planting trees to enhance the environment. Tree planting will help climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the air and provide food and habitat for wildlife.

“We have had positive feedback from residents who say that the trees have made a big impact on improving their neighbourhoods.”

The statement added: “The current tree planting scheme  softens an otherwise harsh environment and it also provides a welcome sun screening service at various times of the day on busy roads.”

This scheme is one of Swansea city centre’s biggest ever tree-planting operations. It will double the number of trees in this immediate area which is also getting large grassy areas, extra plants and shrubbery.

Labour Cllr Mark Thomas, the council’s cabinet member for environment and infrastructure management, said: “The planting reflects one of the council’s key priorities – to maintain and enhance Swansea’s natural resources and biodiversity thus improving the health and well-being of residents.

Councillors with council staff tree planting in Penlan

Councillors with council staff tree planting in Penlan

“The new trees will soften the look of the area and will greatly benefit the local biodiversity. More trees will follow, along with other projects to improve the environment.”

This year’s 144 new trees for Penlan are being planted by the council’s tree services unit on behalf of the housing team.

The semi-mature trees represent a wide variety of native and ornamental species.

They include oak and birch, ornamental pears and cherries, alder, maple, rowan, Austrian pine and sweet gum.

They have been chosen to be suitable for the residential area where they will stand.

Labour Cllr Andrea Lewis, the council’s cabinet member for homes and energy, said: “We want our tenants to live in good quality homes within a safe and secure community.

“A green environment will help us achieve that so we plan to introduce as much greenery as possible into Penlan, an area which will benefit from more trees.

“I hope that local residents enjoy the new additions for generations to come. The new tree planting is a small but important part of multi-million pound improvements we’re making to our housing stock.

“The activity will help the council meet the Welsh Government’s Welsh Housing Quality Standard that requires all social landlords to improve their housing stock to an acceptable level by December 2020.

“I welcome the greening initiatives being led by Cllr Thomas around Swansea; they will be of significant benefit to all residents as the years progress.”

Council greening schemes underway include the introduction of around 170 new trees as part of a £12m makeover is transforming the look and feel of the Kingsway area.

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