McReynolds reiterates pledge to bring Bill to further protect trees

Alliance MLA Peter McReynolds has reiterated his pledge to bring a Private Member’s Bill (PMB) to strengthen protections for trees here.

Peter McReynolds Environment

The East Belfast MLA was speaking as he hosted the launch of a major report by the Woodland Trust into the role trees and woodland can play in nature’s recovery here. He said it was vital to protect them, given his essential they are to our natural eco-system.

“Trees and woodlands are essential components of our natural ecosystem, and in the creation of nature-rich, resilient landscapes,” said Mr McReynolds.

“Our oldest trees are living legends and of incredible importance for wildlife, with each tree an ecosystem in its own right. But despite their importance, they are afforded less protection than our oldest buildings.

“That’s why I have been working with the Woodland Trust to develop a PMB to strengthen protections for our existing trees and woodlands

“That will consist of a number of key areas, such as granting stronger legal protections for our oldest and most important trees, strengthening and enhancing tree protection orders, and protecting trees and ancient woodland from public and private bodies carrying out works under permitted development rights.

“If we don’t protect trees, we are turning out backs on nature itself and the next generations coming after us. I hope my PMB will play a role in preventing that from happening.”