Leafy oasis will cheer up grim urban motorway

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The Independent Online

The St Paul's roundabout, a mile from the centre of Bristol, is a classic piece of 1960s urban architecture, writes Mark Rowe. The underpass is scarred by graffiti, and water collects in murky puddles in the broken pavements. Above, 60,000 cars rush every day along the M32, which connects the city with the M4. This will be the site for one of the Independent on Sunday forests.

Here we hope the trees will help to absorb some of the pollution caused by car exhausts.

The trees will also help to improve conditions for people by muffling the noise from the traffic and making the neighbourhood more picturesque.

Dan Morrell, founder of Future Forests, with whom the Independent on Sunday is working to plant our trees, said: "I felt Bristol was a worthy winner because it signifies the work that can be done in an urban environment where pollution is created. It will really improve inner city life for the people of Bristol."

Sam Burkey, project manager for the Forest of Avon, who will plant and manage our woodland, said people in Bristol were delighted at the news.

"I think it's fantastic. It's a site that really deserves to win. It's not only good for the environment but also for wildlife and people living close by. It helps to improve the air that we breathe."

We chose to plant a few of our trees last week. The bulk of the 1,000-strong woodland will be put in the soil this autumn and will include native species such as include oak, elm and ash.

The planting of cars in the hope of offsetting the carbon dioxide they produced is not anti-motorist. "We're not saying you should never drive a car," said Ms Burkey. "People have to drive cars, but if you do then why not offset the carbon dioxide you produce?

"We just hope this will help make people aware about their consumption."

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