Trees project begins on Strand in city centre

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More than 20 out of 150 trees have already been planted in The Strand. Pic © Megan Stringer JMU Journalism

The first of 150 trees have been planted on The Strand to help surface drainage on one of the city’s busiest roads.

The trees, which are from the Mersey Forest network, are part of a project with Urban GreenUP, an EU-funded scheme which aims to bring nature into city centres to help tackle the growing climate change.

Dr Juliet Staples, senior project manager at Urban GreenUP, told JMU Journalism: “The trees in The Strand that have just gone in will be providing a local surface water drainage function,  in addition to the many other – often invisible – environmental, social and economic benefits they can bring to an area.

“The tree species have been selected from a range of parameters including the ability to rapidly take up water. The surface water drainage off the carriageway currently drains to gully and then the Mersey River.  The trees will intercept the gully flows and as the water runs through the tree soil pits it is slowed and filtered.

“As such, the volume of water going to drain is less and the water that does go into the Mersey is cleaner as the soil has filtered much of the pollutants and contaminants.  In terms of local surface water flooding, the trees ‘slow the flow’ of water to drain as it takes time for the flood waters to percolate through the tree soil cells.”

YouTube: Megan Stringer

So far 22 trees have been planted, with the project being part of a much larger work set being carried out by the city council to improve and change the way The Strand operates and to make the city centre more environmentally-friendly.

The council has previously explained that its main goal is to make the major road a safer highway, due to four fatalities occurring in the past two years.

Dr Staples said: “Staggering or delaying the surface water run-off in this way reduces immediate water volume to drainage and prevents localised surface water flooding – especially important for safety on highways.”

About Megan Stringer, JMU Journalism