Case study: City Trees
The LEP has jointly funded the trees with Herefordshire Council as part of the ongoing £6million Hereford City Centre Improvement project.
City Trees are moss filters which trap dust and pollution particles, reduce carbon dioxide and cool the surrounding air even more efficiently than trees.
Moss converts carbon dioxide into oxygen as well as actually absorbing pollution particles from the air, converting them into natural and harmless biomass or binding them harmlessly into the moss sediment. Moss also stores and evaporates huge quantities of moisture, which has a cooling effect on the air around it.
One moss filter can capture the same amount of carbon dioxide as 28 beech trees and can cool the air like three mature winter lime trees. They each clean about 80 per cent of fine dust and particles from the air and filter breathing air for up to 7,000 people per hour.
The new filters, which each take up about the same floor space as one tree, are being placed around Hereford city centre in high traffic areas, starting at Eign Gate. They include smart sensors which will feed back data so their effect on local air quality can be monitored.
Clean air is essential for our health and wellbeing as well as to mitigate the effects of climate change. Air pollution is thought to contribute to more than 36,000 deaths in the UK each year.