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Trees in urban areas are known to provide a wide range of environmental, social and economic benefits. The tree canopy can:
Trees in urban parks have been found to improve physical and mental human health, by offering an environment for exercise and reducing levels of stress. Furthermore, the incorporation of trees into urban development plans can help to improve the aesthetics and environmental quality of an urban area which can lead to increased inward investment and the provision of jobs.
To ensure that more trees are planted in urban areas, street tree planting programmes have been implemented across the UK:
The success of tree planting schemes will depend on the health of trees and it will be important to monitor trends in tree diseases and pests in urban street trees, as was carried out by the Forest Commission in forest trees.
Tree health is always a matter of public concern. The aim of the survey is to:
The concept behind this programme came from the Forest Condition Survey a pan-European annual survey of forest condition which has been carried out in the UK since 1987. Whilst the Forest Condition Survey concentrates on forest trees, this non-woodland tree survey focuses on 17 genera of amenity trees commonly found in urban and rural environments.
The survey was originally funded by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) – now the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) – as part of the sustainable communities’ agenda.
Forest Research manages the survey – which uses volunteers from the public – and publishes the results.
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