A “PEOPLE’S Trees” initiative has been launched to provide hundreds of new trees across Keighley.

Keighley Town Council launched its ambitious project this month with the creation of an Urban Orchard on allotment land at Braithwaite.

The orchard is being created at the popular Cabbage Club outdoor community and education centre on the North Dean Allotments.

The project, spearheaded by allotments and landscapes committee chairman Cllr John Kirby, is in partnership with Keighley Urban Meadows volunteers.

Cllr Kirby, said: “This is the first of a number of schemes Keighley Town Council will be starting this year in key sites across the town.”

News of the People’s Trees project follows discussions by Keighley Area Committee – part of Bradford Council – about plans by various organisations to plant 20,000 trees across the district over the next year.

Cllr Kirby said some of the sites chosen by the town council for planting, such as Damems and North Dean, had been mentioned in the area committee report.

But he stressed: “Whilst we are always pleased to work in partnership with Bradford Council, I would like to reassure people that our projects will be taking place on land managed by the town council on behalf of Keighley people.

“As they neither require the supervision of Bradford Council officers nor the approval of the area committee before they can go ahead, we should have our first trees planted in the new year.

“We are a community-focused council and committed to involving local people directly in our projects so there will be lots of opportunity for interested people to get involved.”

Pip Gibson, the town council’s Project Co-ordinator, said People’s Trees was an exciting project that schools, youth projects, community groups and people of all ages could get involved in.

She added: There’s such a lot on offer but in the early stages the main work will be ground preparation and planting.

“We will even sow wild flower seeds to encourage pollinating insects and create a carpet of colour whilst the trees take root and grow.”

Anyone who wishes to get involved should call Pip on 07719 960466 or email pip.gibson@keighley.gov.uk.