UBoC are embarking on an exciting new partnership with Leeds City Council and the Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) centre at the University of Leeds. The Leeds4Trees partnership aims to enhance woodlands and encourage conservation both in Leeds and overseas.
Leeds4Trees will see the first “forest twinning” between the Forest of Leeds (all the Council managed woodland in the Leeds City region) and forests in the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania. The East Usambara Mountains lie within the Eastern Arc of Tanzania, a biodiversity hotspot which has been compared to the Galapagos Islands due to the high number of species that are unique to the area.
The first stage of our twinning programme will be to link Tropical World in Roundhay Park with the Amani Butterfly Project in Tanzania.
The Amani Butterfly Project is an innovative project, operated by the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group (TFCG), that reduces deforestation by providing villagers with an alternative livelihood through the farming and marketing of native butterflies. This means that Tropical World will be welcoming some new Tanzanian butterflies to its collection during 2016! Find out more about this project by watching the video below.
Leeds4Trees will also see the establishment of the Leeds Forest Observatory, an outdoor laboratory in public woodlands and a first for the UK. The Leeds Forest Observatory will be located in Middleton Park in South Leeds and will enable researchers from the University of Leeds to examine the valuable ecosystem services provided by green spaces and woodlands. Scientists will measure the growth of the trees and how much carbon they store, record weather conditions and air quality in the park, and observe the different animals and birds living there.
Watch this space for further updates!