HUNDREDS of trees have been planted in Westhoughton to create a new ‘community forest’.

The trees have been planted on land surrounding an electricity substation in recent weeks.

The Trees for Climate programme has seen the region’s electricity network operator, Electricity North West partner with City of Trees.

More than 370 trees have now been planted on land surrounding Electricity North West’s Slack Lane substation.

As well as increasing sustainable UK grown timber, providing more places for nature and biodiversity to thrive, the newly planted trees will also help contribute towards the UK’s net zero target of 2050.

Steve Cox, the firm's engineering and technical director, said: “We’re always looking at different ways to improve the environment and offset carbon emissions and planting hundreds of trees is a great contribution.

“The new partnership with City of Trees is extremely important,. I’m delighted the first site is planted and we’re currently working to identify more sites in our region.”

City of Trees is the Greater Manchester part of the ‘Northern Forest’, a 25-year vision to plant 50 million trees across the North of England, from Liverpool to Hull.

The Trees for Climate Programme is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Cllr Martyn Cox (Westhoughton North and Chew Moor), said: “It is really good this organisation is putting a little bit back into the community. It is a good way to raise the profile of themselves and put a bit of goodwill back in to the area.”

Sarah Williams, business development manager at City of Trees, added: “We’re really excited to have established this new partnership with Electricity North West. It’s brilliant to be working with such a company that is showing great leadership across the private sector in tackling the climate emergency here in Greater Manchester and we are looking forward to continuing to achieve more with them."