EAST Sussex College has planted 4000 of the 6000 trees it pledged to plant in a bid for cleaner air.

Earlier this year, the college in Eastbourne pledged to plant 6,000 trees to help offset its carbon emissions.

A spokesperson said: “We’re now six months into the project, and to support Clean Air Day 2020, we thought it would be a good time to provide an update on how things are going.

“We started 2020 wanting to make a positive difference to our communities.

“We went one step further and decided to make a positive change to help protect our planet.

“We decided to support the Mvule Project For Carbon Capture scheme in Uganda.

“Our college campuses in Eastbourne, Hastings, Lewes, and Newhaven produce just over 5,500 tonnes of CO2 per year, meaning we would need to plant 6,000 trees to offset our emissions.

“So we signed up to plant three key species of hardwood trees (Milicia excelsa, Terminalia superba and Maesopsis eminii), in African. Uganda is recognised as one of the seven most important Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) in the world, where trees can grow five times faster in the humid tropics.

“Within less than 5 years our 6,000 hardwood trees will have captured a year’s worth of carbon emissions, and will continue to capture CO2 for the next 70-80 years.”

Six months into the project and the college has planted almost 4,000 of the 6,000 trees.

The first batch of trees were planted in April and May, with the remaining 2,000 being planted from now until November.

Uganda has two seasons of rain, making these the ideal months to plant trees.

Over the next few years, the trees are expected to grow at a rate of 2.5 metres per year, and can reach up to 14 metres in just four years.

Acting CEO, Rebecca Conroy, said this was a landmark moment for the college as we look to offset our carbon emissions.

“This is such an incredibly important project and one that we are proud to be a part of. Our college ethos is built on taking action and standing up for what you believe in, and climate change is something that needs to be addressed. By supporting this project, and others such as Clean Air Day and Car Free Day, we are taking action and doing something positive to help protect the planet.”

Clean Air Day is led by Global Action Plan and aims to bring together communities, businesses, schools and the health sector to build awareness of air pollution, explain the easy actions to tackle air pollution, and help protect the environment and our health.