A READING social enterprise has launched an initiative that promises to make Reading greener by bringing sponsored trees into the town.

Ethical Reading officially launched Trees for Reading at a breakfast briefing held at Thames Lido today (Tuesday November 26).

The lido was the first sponsor to sign up, pledging all the revenue from its new parking charge to the initiative.

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The event concluded with the planting of the first tree in the grounds of the lido.

Reading Chronicle:

Thames Lido’s operations director, Mark Thwaites, said: “Since we’ve started charging £5 to park in our little car park, we’ve raised nearly £3,600 for our friends over at Ethical Reading in the first two months.

“100% of the money we take will go to their Trees for Reading initiative.

"It’s great that people understand that their money is going to a good cause and not into our pockets.”

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Ethical Reading said urban trees bring a wealth of benefits for human wellbeing, including reducing health problems related to air pollution, encouraging people to be more active and alleviating stress and depression.

They added that trees help the local and wider environment, regulating air temperature, increasing biodiversity and reducing the risk of flooding and erosion, as well as helping to mitigate climate change.

Ethical Reading director, Gill Ringland, said: "The volunteers on our sustainability team have worked really hard to develop this exciting initiative.

“We hope Trees for Reading will make a significant contribution to helping the town mitigate and adapt to climate change as well as improving the wellbeing of its inhabitants.”

Ethical Reading is working closely with Reading Borough Council and Reading Tree Wardens on the initiative.

Its main aim is to raise sponsorship from local organisations to fund the planting and care of substantial trees that are likely to survive and thrive.

In response to feedback, they will now also be accepting smaller donations from individuals, to build up a community tree planting fund.

To find out about Trees for Reading and how you can get involved, visit www.ethicalreading.org.uk/trees-for-reading.