Can you help us build an urban canopy cover map for the UK?
Trees for Cities, Brillianto and Forest Research are hosting a citizen science project to map the canopy cover of towns and cities across the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Urban trees are being increasingly recognised for the many benefits they provide, such as removing carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air, providing habitats for wildlife, and making our urban areas more attractive, enjoyable and healthy places to live and spend time in. To help manage and understand this important resource, we hope to build a map of the distribution of tree canopy cover across the UK.
Using the i-Tree Canopy tool, the canopy cover for 283 towns and cities in England was assessed in 2016 as part of a baseline study. Canopy cover was assessed at the town or city level, and an average canopy cover of 15.8% was estimated. For full results of the study please see The Canopy Cover of England’s Towns and Cities: baselining and setting targets to improve human health and well-being (Trees People and the Built Environment 3, 2017).
We want to build on this work by extending it to more locations, and by providing a more detailed breakdown of canopy cover within urban areas by undertaking canopy cover assessments at the electoral ward scale. Examining canopy cover at the ward level can help to identify which areas within a town or city could benefit from future tree planting and to help improve management of existing urban trees.
How is canopy cover assessed?
This project uses a free, online tool called i-Tree Canopy, which provides a scientifically robust and consistent approach to estimating canopy cover. It’s a quick and easy approach, allowing a ward canopy cover assessment to be completed in around 45 minutes.
How can you help?
You can help us to build this canopy cover map for the UK by measuring the canopy cover in your local area.
If it’s already been assessed, then why not look to assess places where you family or friends might live, or perhaps somewhere you might like to visit?
Download our step-by-step user guide (available in the Downloads section at the bottom of this webpage) to help you work through your first canopy assessment. You can also watch this handy video tutorial.
If after reading the guidance you’d like to get in touch with us with any further questions, you can get in touch by sending us an email. (Please note that the gsi.gov.uk e-mail address will no longer be answered.)
Please send your data back to us to help build a map of urban canopy cover. We’ll also add results on to the urban tree cover map hosted by Treeconomics, which gives canopy cover results at the town or city level.
Visit our interactive webmap and check out the progress so far.
The map keeps track of progress and average ward canopy cover levels across the UK. As more and more canopy cover assessments are completed, the map continues to turn green.
Canopy Cover Webmap User Guide - Updated March 2021 (PDF, 2.2MB) This guide will walk you through step-by-step how to complete and i-Tree Canopy Assessment and how to use our interactive web map
Canopy Cover Flyer (PDF, 509.3kB) A short flyer describing the project
i-Tree Canopy Configuration file (TXT, 339.0B) Download this file to help set up your canopy assessment in i-Tree Canopy