A local authority's new Tree and Woodland Strategy has been praised as a key step in preparing the borough for the future and tackling climate change.

Blackburn with Darwen Council executive board meeting on Thursday unanimously adopted the blueprint.

It warns 80 per cent of the ash trees in Blackburn with Darwen Borough are at risk of dying from the nationwide dieback disease.

So, it proposes to plant 30,000 new trees, mainly of native varieties, to help replace those lost by 2030.

The document will now be debated at a future Blackburn with Darwen full Council Forum meeting.

Council environment boss, Councillor Jim Smith, said: "This is a really important strategy. It helps combat global warming.

"We have a very green borough and need to keep it that way.

"We do have a challenge with Ash Dieback and how do we replace those trees.

"This is about the future and the future of our young people."

Conservative group leader Cllr John Slater said: "I am very happy with this report. It is so important if needs to go the full council."

Cllr Smith said: "We will do that."

Authority leader Cllr Phil Riley said: "This is a good report on a topic we all share concerns about."

Adult social care boss Cllr Jackie Floyd added: "It demonstrates the importance of nature."

The strategy's objectives include:

  • increasing the coverage of trees, woodland and hedgerows across the borough;
  • ensuring new urban planting covers a variety of locations including highways, residential areas, town centres and open spaces, with greatest focus on areas with high levels of deprivation and ill health;
  • protecting and managing the existing stock to ensure no unnecessary loss of trees;
  • preserving ancient woodlands, ancient and veteran trees.