Sharon McLaughlin said “I would like to congratulate Brendan Garthwaite on taking up his new post.
“It reinforces the importance of the maintenance and planting of new trees in the Council area.
“With Derry and Strabane becoming more congested with vehicles adding to poor air quality the addition of more trees helps clean the air we breathe, plus the upkeep of green spaces is good for environment. They are excellent leisure spaces and very important for the positive mental health for everyone.
“Woodlands are a natural home to wildlife, plants and animals and provide many environmental, social and recreational benefits. However, our local countryside is one of the least wooded areas in Europe and it’s important to address this.
“It’s very important that we double woodland cover and highlight the good work being undertaken by communities and farmers in support of this goal.