The University of Manchester has launched a new interactive Tree Trail to encourage people to get outside and discover more about the trees around them.
The University is encouraging staff, students and the local community to get out and enjoy the physical and mental health benefits associated with nature and the outdoors and learn something new about the trees they may see every day.
The new Tree Trail is a project led by the Environmental Sustainability team which has worked closely with Urban Green and City of Trees to develop three distinct trails that highlight 50 of the 1,500 trees across Oxford Road Campus, North Campus and Whitworth Park. This initiative is part of the University’s Campus Masterplan, a ten-year project creating world-class facilities for staff, students and visitors to enjoy.
The trail has been designed as a web-based app which can be used by anyone with a smartphone or handheld device. Users are also encouraged to take their own tree photos and comments and share these via Instagram. There is a dedicated account (@uomsust) and each tree has its own hashtag to make identification easier.
Julia Durkan, University Sustainable Campus Officer at The University of Manchester said: “Trees are important for nature, the environment and our health and wellbeing but are often overlooked. We wanted a Tree Trail that would engage and connect with staff, students and the local community and believe the innovative use of smartphones and social media will help us appeal to a much wider audience.”
Scott Fitzgerald, managing director at Urban Green, said: “People have a very personal relationship with the trees that they see each day. We want people to use the Tree Trail to feel a sense of ownership – the trees on campus are ‘their trees’ and we look forward to seeing the Tree Trail grow as people share their own photography and comments.
“We hope the Tree Trail is both educational but also helps foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of some of Manchester’s many amazing trees.”
Pete Stringer, Technical & Green Infrastructure Planning Manager at City of Trees, commented: “It was great to work with the University to identify some of their more important and interesting trees in and around campus.
“We know urban trees play a hugely important role in our towns and cities, and we hope people taking part in the Tree Trail will understand the need to both protect the trees we have, and plant more of them.”
The Tree Trail has been developed as part of the University’s Living Campus Plan which addresses the challenges of a growing urban campus alongside the opportunities a healthy environment provides for people and nature.
Visit the Tree Trail website to take part.