The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has signalled the start of a major project to ‘green up’ its campus and surrounding areas by planting the first cluster of hundreds of new trees.
The six new trees – each already weighing approximately a tonne and which will grow up to 35 metres in height – have been planted on Corporation Street adjacent to the University’s new £35 million Engineering Innovation Centre.
In total, 300 new trees will be planted as part of the development over the next two years. The initiative will see the total number of trees across the University campus grow to more than 700, providing a greener environment for students, staff and local residents.
The specially selected ‘London Plane’ trees possess an unusually tall trunk, meaning branches will grow well above the height of passing traffic. They are also popular in urban environments around the world due to their durability and habit of rarely shedding branches.
The five-year-old trees, which were grown in Germany, have been planted in January while they are less active, providing the best opportunity to develop strong roots ahead of their growth phase in spring and early summer.
Michael Ahern, UCLan’s Chief Information and Infrastructure Officer, said: “Our new £60 million Student Centre and Civic Square development will include approximately 40 new trees as well as a significant number of other flowering plants and shrubs. On a wider scale we’ll be planting hundreds of additional trees across the campus all of which will provide habitat and support to the local wildlife as well as making it a great place to live, work and study.”
Suntosh Kaur, President of UCLan Students’ Union, added: “As well as having a positive impact on wellbeing and learning, a greener and more pleasant environment will make the University more accessible and enjoyable for current and future generations of students as well as everyone in the local community.”
Work on UCLan’s Masterplan continues to progress, with improvements to the highways around the Adelphi Quarter being carried out by Balfour Beatty, while ground preparation for the Student Centre and Civic Square is taking place through contractor Bowmer + Kirkland.
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