TreeTalk have contributed a response to DEFRA’s England Tree Strategy consultation, working with the Architects Can! (ACAN, Architects Climate Action Network) and the Construction Declares Steering Group.
1. The construction industry needs productive and diverse working woodlands
There is huge potential for the UK to grow a thriving domestic timber industry, to incentivise land-owners and investors to grow and nurture trees. Timber construction sequesters carbon and is one of the many strategies architects are seeking to reduce the embodied carbon associated with their building designs.
2. We need to increase tree canopy cover in our towns and cities
We know that trees in urban areas are hugely important to those living in cities and towns for health and wellbeing. Trees also offer a multitude of environmental benefits to communities - giving shade in summer (and losing their leaves in winter allows for solar gain), acting as drainage, reducing air pollution, supporting biodiversity and reducing the urban heat island effect. Often trees in cities and towns are seen to be in conflict with maximising space utilisation in new development, and not given sufficient protections in proportion to the value they offer.
3. Centrally run mapping and TPO Register
We propose a new central body responsible for all these aspects (data management, TPOs) - as an equivalent to Heritage England for trees. Data mapping of trees has already started to be undertaken on a piecemeal basis in Britain, and the benefits of this can be seen through the public’s engagement with platforms such as TreeTalk. We see a need for a centrally run and maintained mapping of all British trees, by the same body responsible for TPO register maintenance
4. Raise public awareness
We believe it is critical to raise public awareness of the importance of increasing british forests and woodlands, and of urban tree canopy cover. Access to nature should be a universal right, and tree planting should be targeted to make our society more equitable and share the benefits living in proximity to green space can bring to our communities. Communities who stand to benefit the most from new tree planting should be targeted as priority.
Read the full blog here: https://www.architectscan.org/post/england-tree-strategy
The consultation (closes 11 September 2020) can be accessed here: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/forestry/england-tree-strategy/
TreeTalk will be taking part in this Festival of Trees from 16-24 May 2020, celebrating trees in London and beyond.
The whole world may be in lockdown but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy and appreciate the value of trees, woodland and nature in our urban lives and with your help we will help people fall in love with their urban trees.