The Council has agreed a Tree Strategy that is intended to provide a framework that sets out the key principles for the management of trees in the borough and at the same time incorporating its commitment to plant 160,000 new trees by 2030.
The Tree Strategy, together with the technical and operational policy documents it supports, are part of the Council’s response to the Climate Change and Environmental Emergency.
At the heart of the tree management and protection policy are core principles and activities that will help mitigate our changing climate by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, create shade and shelter thus keeping our urban areas cool and increase our resilience to flooding. The strategy will also seek to safeguard existing habitats and, through additional planting, trees will also create more, better, joined up habitat.
Cabinet Lead for Environment Cllr Rupert Kyrle said, “Climate breakdown and negative environmental impacts are among the biggest challenges facing the long-term future of residents and businesses of our Borough. The Council’s approach to trees, including our existing policies and tree planting programme will support our environmental objectives and also help to improve the wellbeing of local people through the enhancement of and access to nature.
The Council undertakes several functions in relation to trees including the adoption of the following Trees and Development Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) to provide guidance on the approach to trees alongside new development in the Borough;
Tree Policy for Council-owned trees on public land which outlines how the Council will protect, improve and develop its existing tree stock in public places including the enforcement of Tree Preservation Orders to protect trees that bring significant amenity benefit
Tree Risk Management Plan which sets out the method by which trees on Council-owned land will be pro-actively inspected, recorded and managed.
The Council has also created a Tree Nursery to help achieve its commitment to plant 160,000 new trees by 2030.