HC Deb 24 November 1971 vol 826 cc1315-6
7. Mr. Chapman

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will sponsor a national tree planting year in 1973, following his promise to consider this suggestion in reply to a supplementary Question by the hon. Member for Birmingham, Handsworth, on 28th July. 1971.

Mr. Peter Walker

I very much wish to encourage amenity tree planting, particularly in view of the losses from Dutch elm disease. I am considering what form of local or national campaigns would be of the greatest assistance, including the possibility of a tree planting year in 1973.

Mr. Chapman

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend for that reply. The purpose of the exercise is to plant trees where they are needed in towns and cities. Under my modest plan there would be no cost to local planning authorities other than the cost of earmarking and preparing the land in towns and cities for the planting of trees donated by families, individuals, organisations, trade unions and other societies.

Mr. Walker

I congratulate my hon. Friend on the campaign he has launched. Cities which have already encouraged similar tree-planting campaigns in urban areas have achieved considerable success and have made a considerable impact upon the quality of the environment.

Mr. David Clark

Will the Secretary of State have discussions with the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in an effort to persuade him to allow some financial help to the Forestry Commission for environmental planning?

Mr. Walker

The Forestry Commission plays a considerable rôle in helping with the landscaping of motorways, which is now of a very high order. I am sure that my right hon. Friend will take note of the hon. Gentleman's remarks.