THE A56 through Prestwich has been given a green makeover with new street trees planted along the roadside.

Twenty trees including cherry, field maple and sweetgum have been planted as part of a £2 million Bury New Road regeneration programme.

Led by Bury Council the scheme has seen trees planted to help tackle surface water flooding, as well as improve the look and feel of the area.

Sedgley Ward councillor and cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Alan Quinn, said: "The reaction in Prestwich to the Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme involving the street trees has been really positive.

"People love the idea of using rainwater to water the trees and to improve the environment in general.

"We are already exploring the potential for other natural flood management projects in Bury."

The street trees have been planted in partnership with City of Trees which aims to plant 3 million saplings in a generation — one for every man woman and child in Greater Manchester.

City of Trees' Pete Stringer said: "Street trees don’t just change the look and feel of a street, town or city centre, but they bring a whole range of benefits including combatting climate change, and improving our health and wellbeing.

"By planting street trees we can really help to transform our towns and cities into attractive places for people."

Alongside the planting, the improvement works will also include enhanced paving and street lighting plus wider pavements and the introduction of a cycle lane.

Developers have highlighted how similar street tree programmes have proven an effective tool in making retail areas more attractive to shoppers — encouraging people to stay longer.

The planting has also been supported by Urban regeneration specialist, Muse Developments, who are working in partnership with Bury MBC on projects to revitalise the Longfield centre in Prestwich.

Mike Horner, regional director at Muse, said: "This fantastic initiative will help improve the quality of the environment in Prestwich town centre - adding attractive greenery as well as additional environmental benefits."

The street trees have been placed in specially designed pits which receive rainwater running off the road, pavement and surrounding buildings.

Rainwater entering the pits is used by the trees, with any excess draining off and eventually returning to the sewer system.

The tree pits will be monitored by the University of Manchester to see how they affect volume and speed of water entering sewers.

The university will additionally examine pollution levels as water enters the pits and once it has filtered through to sewers where the trees have been planted.