CORK City Council has confirmed that a Tree Officer has been appointed and that the successful candidate started in the newly created role this week.
The idea to create a dedicated role was a Green Party proposal approved at Cork City Council's budget meeting in November. Cork city Green Party councillors said the appointment would "build the capacity of the council to protect and build a green city".
"The vision for the Trees Officer is very much someone who is 'wellies on the ground'," they said.
The role was advertised in April and candidates were required to hold a qualification in Horticulture, Landscape Architecture, Arboriculture, Natural or Environmental Science (level 8 or higher on the National Framework of Qualifications).
A spokesperson for the council said the duties of the new Tree Officer include coordinating the management of the city tree resource, assisting in the development of a Tree Strategy and providing arboriculture input on policy and specialist advice to various Council Directorates.
The role also entails promoting tree planting and the care of trees, working with various community groups to assist them in planting and helping to deliver elements of the Climate Action Adaptation Strategy.
Last month Cork City Council became the first local authority in the country to launch an air quality strategy - a plan which sets out short, medium, and long-term initiatives to improve air quality in the city.
As part of this, the council has said next year it expects to plant up to 1,500 trees, following the planting of 1,200 this year – a sixfold increase on the year previous.