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Urban tree management with CAVAT

Home research Urban tree management with CAVAT

Help sought to investigate the role of CAVAT in the strategic management of urban trees

In early 2018, “CAVAT (Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees): valuing trees as public assets[1]” was published. The paper described the history and development of CAVAT and featured five case study examples of how CAVAT[2] is being used to protect trees in the urban environment.

In an exciting new project, Fera, Forest Research, and the CAVAT Exec Board have teamed up to determine – for the first time – the extent of CAVAT use across Great Britain, and to understand how and for what purposes CAVAT is being used.

The project will help us to understand whether CAVAT is being used i) to provide a basis for managing public trees as assets rather than liabilities, and ii) to assist local authorities in achieving an appropriate level of compensation where publicly owned trees are damaged or removed without consent. It will also reveal whether it has other uses too. There are, for example, cases where CAVAT has been used to make a valued-based case for tree retention – but how widespread is this practice?

The project will inform the on-going support of CAVAT. It will also help with broader research on valuing urban trees, and strategic management of urban trees. An intriguing outcome of a GB-wide uptake of CAVAT might be that it could provide a transaction-based insight into the value of mature urban trees.

We need your help…

 1. Complete our first, short questionnaire to understand use of CAVAT across the UK: Our first step is to determine the extent of CAVAT use across the UK. To help us with this, we have four short questions to ask all local authority tree officers, Green Infrastructure officers, and planning officers.

Please support this work by answering these questions through either:

  • accessing the online SurveyMonkey questionnaire ( access the survey here), or
  • downloading the questionnaire form ('Survey A' in the Download section below), completing the questionnaire and returning it to us.

 Please also support this work by by sharing the link with your contacts in other Local Authorities.

 2. Complete our second, more detailed questionnaire about how your Local Authority uses CAVAT: If you've completed our first questionnaire and have experience of using CAVAT in your Local Authority, please complete our second questionnaire. This questionnaire goes into more detail on how and why you Local Authority uses CAVAT. It's estimated to take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete.

You can complete this questionnaire by either:

  • Going to surveymonkey and completing the survey online
  • Complete a word form of the questionnaire ('Survey B' in the Download section below). Either complete in word on your computer or print off and send back to us.
  • Email Kieron Doick ( to schedule a telephone interview to answer the questions.


[1] Arboricultural Journal, 2018:

[2] See also the CAVAT homepage:




Kieron Doick


Research Status
Research Groups
Urban forests
Funding & partners
  • feraFera
  • feraCAVAT Exec Board