13 Feb 2024
Over 550 trees planted for Armley Gyratory improvement scheme
Work in this winter’s planting season has seen 350 trees planted in the local community as part of the Armley Gyratory improvement scheme.
This is in addition to the 206 trees planted last year, making a total of 556 trees, which is well on the way to a target of planting over 660 new trees for the scheme.
Last week at Armley Park, 10 Walnut trees were planted by volunteers, councillors, project team and organised by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside rangers. This follows 139 trees planted in close proximity to the Armley Gyratory and also 18 trees planted across the Clyde Estate in this planting season.
The council has engaged with the local community groups and councillors, along with consultations with residents to develop locations and designs for off-site planting. There’s been a wide variety of tree types with broad leaf native species, like Maple, Lime, Hornbeam and Oaks, along with Walnut, fruit and Cherry trees.
In January 2022, as part of the wider Armley Gyratory scheme, approximately 220 trees were removed to accommodate the new gyratory alignment, road and footpath widening. Tree removal will also provide greater visibility for pedestrians and cyclists travelling through the area. This is important to improve both the safety and personal security of pedestrians and cyclists travelling around the gyratory. The council is re-planting new trees at a three to one ratio.
In autumn last year the highways construction work completed to remodel the Armley Gyratory. The changes to the gyratory have improved vehicle throughput at the junction and are a component of transformative highways works to remove through traffic’ across the city centre, mitigate environmental issues, better connect neighbourhoods, and encourage people to travel on foot or by bike.
More recent activity on the phase two structures work to three Armley Gyratory footbridges is well underway. Last month the council removed and replaced Gelderd Road footbridge, over a single weekend ahead of schedule.
Councillor Helen Hayden, Leeds City Council’s executive member for sustainable development and infrastructure, said:
"I am delighted to see progress on the tree planting this season and to have been involved in planting more trees at Armley Park in connection to this major scheme. Thanks to the project team, construction partners, council officers, parks and countryside rangers, volunteers and their families, for helping with this.
“The 556 trees in total, mark a major milestone contributing to the total number of trees we need to plant. We have planted trees across Armley, Beeston, Holbeck, Chapel Allerton, Temple Newsam, Hunslet, Calverley and Farsley, including 196 next to the gyratory itself aiming to have a lasting impact. They will help to reduce carbon, encourage wildlife and act as habitats for many species.
“The gyratory’s location constrain planting many more trees there and so we have worked with the communities to identify more suitable locations, such as Beggars Hill, Clyde Estate and Armley Park.
“I would like to thank people for their patience while the ongoing footbridge works are carried out on the Armley Gyratory. I can’t wait to see the completion of this scheme later this year.”
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space, said:
“We all know the many benefits that the right trees, planted in the right places, can have.
“That’s why I am delighted to see hundreds more trees from so many different species go into the ground, in places that have been chosen by members of the local community.
“I’d like to thank everyone who volunteered their time and knowledge to make this possible.
“Whether by cooling our city on hot days, helping to prevent flooding, boosting our wellbeing, creating space for nature, improving beauty in an area, or their ability to remove planet-warming gases from the air; growing more trees is key to making Leeds a greener, healthier, and better place to live.”
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