Trees lined up to cut the dust for BBC show

Danny Rurlander and professor Barbara Maher with the temporary trees on South Road, which are part of an experiment conducted by Lancaster University and the BBC looking at how trees can impact on pollution levels.
Danny Rurlander and professor Barbara Maher with the temporary trees on South Road, which are part of an experiment conducted by Lancaster University and the BBC looking at how trees can impact on pollution levels.
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Drivers on a main route into Lancaster city centre may have thought they were seeing things this week – when they passed a row of trees.

The 30 birch trees have been placed on the pavement outside four homes in South Road as part of a two-week experiment which is being conducted by Lancaster University for a BBC2 science health series to be screened this autumn.

Another four households on the road are also taking part in the experiment, but do not have trees outside their doors.

The BBC contacted Prof Barbara Maher of the university’s Environment Centre after hearing about a similar experiment she had conducted on the A6 last summer.

Carbon dioxide measurements taken from dust on TV screens within homes which had trees outside were lower than those taken from dust on TV screens in homes without trees outside. The findings suggested that trees help to absorb vehicle fumes, protecting residents.

Father-of-four, Danny Rurlander, who allowed the trees to be placed outside his home, said: “We’ve lived here for eight years and have been more worried about the noise – I’ve never thought about pollution.

“But I work in my front room and am now wondering what I’ve been breathing in.”