A TOTAL of 40,000 trees will be planted to represent the number of primary school pupils in North Lanarkshire.

New woodlands will be created as the council will plant 20,000 native trees at Strathclyde Country Park in Motherwell, and Palacerigg Country Park in Cumbernauld.

A further 20,000 trees will also be planted at sites at Low Wood, Cumbernauld, and Calderbank, near Airdrie.

Primary seven pupils will have the opportunity to plant a tree during outdoor education visits to Strathclyde Park in this and future planting seasons.

Species will include Downy birch, Sessile oak, Common alder, Rowan, Gean, Hazel and Hawthorn.

Pupils from Condorrat Primary School in Cumbernauld joined depute council leader Paul Kelly to plant the first trees and mark the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

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The councillor said: “Our new woodlands will play an important part in tackling climate change locally, as well as developing natural habitats for wildlife to flourish.

“Planting trees is also a positive way for pupils to learn about the benefits of nature and contribute to reducing our carbon footprint.

"After the challenges we’ve all faced throughout the coronavirus pandemic, this reminds our young people that there is hope and a brighter future ahead.”

Since 2010 North Lanarkshire Council has planted around 180,000 trees, covering over 60 hectares of land.

Planting of the new woodlands will begin in November to the north of Strathclyde Loch within the country park, with work at the other sites following over the winter.

At Palacerigg, an initial 2.5 hectares will be planted this winter, with an area identified for each town in North Lanarkshire to include a specimen tree.

A 2.5-hectare field will be planted at Calderbank, adjacent to Brownsburn Local Nature Reserve and the Calderbank and Chapelhall Woodland in and Around Towns project.

At Low Wood, 2340 trees will be planted at a site adjacent to other areas where trees are present to facilitate a green corridor.