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02/06/2023

NI Water On Track To Plant One Million Trees By 2030

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NI Water's large-scale programme to plant one million trees by 2030 is continuing to make significant progress.

The utility recently celebrated reaching 250,000 trees with the planting of approximately 70,010 trees plus 17,000 of natural regeneration across 30 hectares at its site in Annalong, Co Down.

In addition, circa 37,750 trees plus 50,000 of natural regeneration were delivered across 18 hectares of land at Stoneyford near NI Water's reservoir in Co Antrim. It follows on from 49,700 trees being successfully planted between November 2020 and June 2022 at NI Water's Dunore Water Treatment Works on the shores of Lough Neagh in Co Antrim and on land bordering its Fofanny Dam and water treatment works outside Hilltown in Co Down. All trees are native species and most are deciduous broadleaves.

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This forms part of NI Water's wider plans to help tackle climate change and create a more sustainable future for Northern Ireland. NI Water will work in partnership with the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland to help deliver the planting project as well as overseeing the planning and managing contractors. The Forestry Service is supporting the project.

Alistair Jinks, Director of Business Services at NI Water, said: "As the second biggest landowner in Northern Ireland, we want to deliver a large-scale planting programme of one million trees. Working in partnership with the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland and the Forestry Service, we are well on our way to regreening our land with a diverse range of native trees to encourage our flowers and fauna to flourish.

"This initiative is about much more than just planting trees and offsetting carbon from our electricity consumption. It is about helping to improve water quality, prevent flooding, addressing air quality, providing safe habitats for wildlife and enhancing our local landscape one tree at a time.

"At NI Water, we have ambitious plans to transition to a net zero business and our drive to plant the right trees in the right places is helping to make a visible difference in our fight against climate change. With 224,460 trees planted so far, we are almost a quarter of the way there and we believe we have an important role to play in helping to build the green economy and restore biodiversity."

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