A major new plan to enhance Plymouth’s tree coverage has been announced by Plymouth City Council’s Cabinet.
The Plan for Trees has been developed working with a range of local and national partners since 2016, and has been informed by a survey of 1105 residents.
In addition to the Plan, the Council will sign an agreement to be a member of the steering group that fulfils the Plan’s Delivery Programme which will protect the city’s trees, work to reduce inequality in tree cover across the city, and work with local schools on educational tree planting programmes over the coming years. In addition to the Council, the steering group will include Plymouth Community Homes, the Woodland Trust, Plymouth Tree Partnership, the National Trust and Plymouth Open Spaces Network.
Of the Plan for Trees survey respondents, 97 per cent either strongly agreed, or agreed that trees are an important feature of the city, and supported the principle that we should care for our trees and their environment by looking after them in healthy and sustainable ways. Respondents were also encouraged to tell the Council which trees they believed needed to be prioritised for work and whether residents had a favourite tree.
Councillor Sue Dann, Cabinet Member for Street Scene and the Environment, said: “We are grateful to residents for their feedback on our tree survey, and the survey was extremely useful in terms of helping us to prioritise the work on trees around the city.
“Following the survey last year the Council put in additional resources to target tree improvement works alongside emergency work and ongoing maintenance, and in total 1397 trees have been worked on since November 2018.
“We know trees are important to people in terms of giving a sense of pride in the city and we will also be signing a partnership agreement with a range of local organisations as part of our ongoing commitment.”
There are four themes to the Plan for Trees, which are:
- Promote – To promote the benefits and value of the our trees through education and encouraging best practice
- Protect – To protect Plymouth’s special trees and woodlands for future generations
- Care – To care for our trees by practicing and promoting good tree and woodland management
- Enhance – To enhance urban areas by increasing tree canopy cover.
Woodland Trust’s South West External Affairs Manager Catherine Brabner-Evans said: “Intuitively we know trees are good for us. They are the green lungs of our city. They connect us with nature, enhancing our health and wellbeing, reducing stress, boosting our mental health. They also bring life, colour and character to the city, reducing noise and offering shade and shelter. This is why is so important that urban trees are appreciated and protected.
“This initiative is a brilliant example of a group of bodies working towards producing an informed tree strategy for a city which will secure the future of trees and woods in Plymouth. It is great to see such commitment to transforming urban tree management. There is a long way to go to secure the UK’s urban trees and woods for future generations.”