Tree in an urban setting
Jan 16 2018

Trees in towns and cities work hard for us all. So what are we doing for them?

We know that urban trees give us a whole host of benefits; from cleaning our air to making our towns and cities more attractive, helping people to relax amidst the hubbub of city life, and providing a home for nature. So that is why, in 2017, the Woodland Trust started its urban programme to make sure that we are also supporting tree protection and planting in towns and cities.

Urban woods

The Woodland Trust manages over 500 urban woodlands – that’s over 80,000ha of woodland in, or within walking distance of, towns and cities. These woods are havens for wildlife and people, and so we are keen to ensure they are managed in the best possible way for use by the local community. However, unfortunately many of these sites do also suffer from flytipping, anti-social behaviour or vandalism and so we are working hard to try and alleviate these issues with local communities. Learning from our own experiences is vital to enable us to advise others in similar situations and make these woods as accessible as possible.  

Tree planting

Approximately 40% of our community tree packs and 70% of our school tree packs are planted in towns and cities. That’s a lot of trees! We are also working directly with local authorities to plant trees in parks to make our urban greenspaces work harder for us. And with new urban tree packs planned for later this year with trees and shrubs most suitable for town or city growing conditions, we are always looking to encourage more people to plant trees in towns and cities.  

Engaging people

From a survey we ran we know that 77% of people strongly agreed that they would miss trees and greenspaces if they didn’t see them in their local environment*.  We want to make sure that our communications continue to help people make these connections with their local trees so we are making sure to talk about the benefits of urban woods and trees whenever we can.

Watch this space for exciting new urban projects coming up. The Street Trees Project is our first big urban project; read all about it here.

*Figures come from a quantitative survey of 2,400 adults living or working in urban areas, January 2017. Conducted by Public Knowledge on behalf of the Woodland Trust

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