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To secure the benefits of the urban forest, it is helpful to take an evidence based approach to management. Measuring tree canopy cover can be a proxy for these benefits. Local authorities, planners, urban designers and community members can using this tree canopy cover data to set a local minimum standard for tree canopy cover and to explore how tree canopy cover varies across their town. Such approaches are best set locally and the approaches to management can be expressed well in a Tree and Woodland Strategy. This leaflet highlights how the data can be used to track and achieve these objectives.
This resource is based on data produced from i-Tree Canopy and i-Tree Eco projects. It demonstrates how these tools can practically help set an evidence based approach to management of tree locally, bringing research fundings into action.
Urban trees provide many benefits to all who live and work in urban areas, providing contact with nature, a backdrop for recreation and wellbeing, cooling and improving the air quality.
The average tree canopy cover figure is 16% in England, measured from over 283 towns and cities. Tree canopy cover is ‘the layer of leaves, branches, and tree stems that cover the ground’ (Treeconomics, 2017). Tree canopy cover varies massively, though, depending on where you live: from 3% in Fleetwood, Lancashire, to 45% in Farnham, Surrey. It also varies within the place you live.
Kieron Doick or
Policy and Advice Team,
Forestry Commission England
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