DURING the recent general election campaign it was interesting to see each of the main political parties vying for votes with their tree planting targets for the UK. Some of the targets were (let’s be generous) fanciful but at least we are moving towards a political era where the climate is becoming a priority.  

Trees are about much more than removing and storing carbon dioxide. They help sustain wildlife and whole ecosystems. With the rather depressing news from the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 in Madrid showing CO2 emissions continuing to grow, it’s becoming apparent that aside from new, serious technological breakthroughs in clean energy generation the only way the world is going to deal with these emissions is combating them through natural absorption, mainly through tree planting.

Newton Property Management is the first Scottish property factor to get behind community tree planting as a way to improve the local environment and capture CO2.  
This week we started on our latest and most ambitious project to plant 800 trees in a multi-acre modern housing estate in Airdrie. Crystal Park is approximately ten years old and was constructed with generous communal areas but very little in the way of tree planting. Newton is giving this scheme its financial support and the result is that each owner in the estate will only be asked for £1 for their share of the works.

Together with the owners’ association, the ground maintenance contractor and the Woodland Trust, Newton yesterday co-ordinated a community planting day, when members of the local community and nearby Clarkston Primary pupils all took a turn to plant their own tree. 
The primary school pupils and children who live in the estate will get the chance to tag their personal tree with their name and watch it grow over the years. 

Modern housing developments can appear somewhat sterile but the signs from developers going forward are encouraging, with much more emphasis on wild or semi-wild areas – and of course intensive tree planting. 
There are hundreds of such housing estates in the country and the potential is enormous. If property factors don’t get behind these schemes, they won’t get off the ground. Come on everyone, we 
can do it.  

Derek MacDonald is joint managing director of Newton Property Management.