The value of trees in new developments
Did you know a quarter of UK homes and streets are named after trees and flowers? You can probably think of examples where you live. But what if as well as naming streets after hawthorns, oaks and beeches, developers had to plant them in new developments? Right now the Government is consulting on this idea until 27 March, and you can add your voice in support of these proposals.
Building beautiful with urban trees
In August 2020, the Government announced plans for a major shake-up of England’s planning system. Some of these changes could spell trouble for trees and woods, but a positive idea is gathering momentum: tree-lined streets in all new developments. The January 2020 Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission report proposals included:
‘an ambitious, even visionary, programme’ for governments to plant urban trees and re-green our towns and cities, including two million new street trees within five years.
local councils should consider trees ‘as essential as the structure of a road or surface water drainage’.
planning should ‘take place up-front with the presence of trees as a given’.
We can trace these ideas back to Victorian times, when planners saw how trees could beautify and improve quality of life in polluted towns and cities. That vision has largely lain dormant until recently, with the growth of urban forestry and recognition of trees’ benefits for public health. For many of us, any trees on our streets are down to chance and the foresight of people who planted them years ago. Too often trees have been seen instead as barrier to development, with mature, old trees especially undervalued.
The public Government consultation is open until 27 March. Join us in calling for all new developments to include trees. We all have so much to gain if we can get this right.
Read more on this subject on our website here: The Value of Trees in New Developments – Woodland Trust