Plans to involve schools and communities in a city-wide tree-planting project are being drawn up by Birmingham Street Services - one of the organisations bidding for Birmingham City Council’s prestigious £2.2 billion Highways Maintenance and Management Service PFI contract.

Under Birmingham Street Service’s plans, youngsters and community groups would get expert help with projects aimed at expanding the number of trees in the city.

Preserving roadside trees has been given a high priority in Birmingham Street Services’ bid, but the company wants to create more green open spaces in the city.

Birmingham Street Services is one of two organisations bidding for the 25-year highways PFI contract, which includes the maintenance of the city’s trees.

The company aims to preserve existing trees, plant new trees to improve the street scene and replace diseased and damaged trees.

The company said its intention is to provide benefits to those travelling tree-lined routes in vehicles and also to improve the quality of the street environment for pedestrians and residents.

The company is a supporter of Birmingham Civic Society’s Trees for Life initiative and took part in Trees for Life’s corporate tree-planting event.

Birmingham Street Services also plans to make expert advice on tree species and planting available to schools and local communities to encourage the creation and ownership of neighbourhood coppices and green spaces.

Birmingham Street Services bid director Phil Jackson said: “Birmingham is a remarkably green city, and people are rightly proud of the city’s trees. These contribute significantly to the quality of life and we believe that this asset should be recognised, expanded and celebrated. We are committed to managing and maintaining the green nature of the city, ensuring that trees are protected, and replaced appropriately if necessary. We also want to involve the wider community in improving the environment for everyone” he added.

“Research has shown that urban trees have a wide variety of benefits including reducing carbon dioxide emissions and particulates in the air, reducing harmful spores that can cause asthma, and reducing noise,” he said.

The PFI contract involves the maintenance of all the roads, footpaths and street lighting in Birmingham.