Trees in the Townscape


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  • Benefits of trees are better and better understood (increasing evidence base + new tool such as i-tree)
  • More examples of what trees can bring to make places look, feel and work better … . But our ability to integrate trees as part of our towns and cities ’ critical infrastructure has not kept pace with the scale of the potential that has been identified. Practice has fallen behind: planning, design, management decision do not currently allow to fully realise the oft-describe wide ranging benefits of urban trees. This is the gap ‘Trees in the Townscape’ was designed to address
  • Trees in the Townscape offers a set of 12 action oriented principles spanning the range of planning, design, works and management issues that must be addressed if the benefits of urban trees are to be fully realised. Some case studies of the principles in practice follow… Each principles is fully supported by an explanation of Objective Benefits Delivery mechanisms Examples of the principle in practice … and references for further reading Overall the document includes over 30 case study from all over England and further abroad, including the US and Hong Kong Here are some examples
  • Birmingham is looking at how to combine grey and green infrastructure. The City aims to increase its tree population by up to 30% by 2026…the ‘ Birmingham Forest ’ This is articulated in the Core Strategy (2015-2028) and supported through a wide range of plans and programmes. The Green Infrastructure and Adaptation Delivery Group have devised the ‘ Birmingham Tree Bond ’ to create a perpetual revenue stream of up to £500,000 per year.
  • Developments should not result in an unacceptable loss of or damage to existing trees. Trees not retained as part of the developments must be replaced at a ratio of at least 2:1 New trees must be planted – minimum of 3 trees per dwelling for residential and 1 tree per parking space of per 50 square metres whichever is greater for non-residential developments. Where trees cannot be planted on site, developers must pay the LA a sum in lieu to plant off site with a commuted sum for 10 years maintenance. 2400 trees have been planted since 2005.
  • Bristol City, Bath and NE Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils working together to deliver 10 improved bus routes in the region. Bristol has dedicated £450k from the transport funds for this project to environmental improvements including planting 500 new trees on key routes in the city.
  • Mayor Jules Pipe pledged to plant 1,000 street trees in Hackney by 2010 and these were in fact planted by 2009. When residents contact the borough to request a tree, they are invited to become a ‘ tree champion ’ for their street. There are now 300 tree champions and 1,500 ‘ tree carers ’ . The loss rate is very low - a 1% death rate in its newly planted street trees.
  • The Trees and Design Action Group would like to see all council leaders endorsing Trees in the Townscape and so we must work towards this. Bristol City Council is the first council to adopt the guide as a council.
  • So it is up to all of us to disseminate this guide as widely as possible and to encourage our council leaders to become tree champions!
  • Trees in the Townscape

    1. 1. Available at
    2. 2. Birmingham Forest &associated Tree BondPrinciple 3/ Embed into Policy andOther PlansObjectiveAdopt clear standards for theprotection, care and planting of trees inthe local plan and key corporate policyand investment documents.BenefitEnsures high level buy-in for tree-related issues, which may ease accessto resources for trees.
    3. 3. Sefton’s tree plantingstandard Policy DQ3Principle 3/ Embed into Policy andOther PlansObjectiveAdopt clear standards for theprotection, care and planting of treesin the local plan and key corporatepolicy and investment documentsBenefitContributes to ensuring positiveenvironmental outcomes from newdevelopments.
    4. 4. Bristol Greater BusNetworkPrinciple 6/ Seek Multiple BenefitsObjectiveHarvest the full range of benefits thattrees can deliver as part of a localgreen infrastructure system, focusingon key local aspirations.BenefitEnhances return on investment incapital and revenue expenditure spenton trees.
    5. 5. Hackney’s TreeChampions andCarersPrinciple 9/ Create StakeholdersObjectiveWork with local political, professionaland community stakeholders tochampion the value of trees in thetownscape.BenefitReduces conflicts and complaintsassociated with nuisance trees.
    6. 6. Available