Around 375,000 trees will be planted in Essex over the next five years to help tackle climate change.

Essex County Council said it is spending £1million on the Essex Forest Initiative to capture around 60,000 tonnes of carbon.

“We need to do more to make a difference” said Cllr David Finch, Leader of Essex County Council.

“The time has come to actively demonstrate our commitment to climate change.

“Enough talking has been done, in order to have a future, we must act in the present, and the Essex Forest Initiative is an immediate tangible way in which we can show commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.”

The council has also announced the Essex Climate Change Action Plan and the creation of an independent cross-party commission on climate change.

The commission will have an initial budget of £250,000 to fund and support environmental initiatives that look to reduce CO2 and reduce waste

Cllr Simon Walsh said: “Tackling climate change is everyone’s responsibility and we must play our part in tackling the biggest threat of the modern day.

“The creation of the Climate Change Commission shows our commitment to reducing emissions, energy usage and waste across Essex.

“The hard work starts now, but by working with employees, partners, businesses, residents and communities, we will build a greener future for the County.”

Trees planted in Colchester. Credit: ITV News Anglia
The Essex Forest Initiative will capture around 60,000 tonnes of carbon. Credit: ITV News Anglia