The economic value of individual trees planted outside of our forests and woodlands has been revealed for the first time at £3.8 billion. The figures are revealed in a new study published by Forest Research and the Department Of Environment Food & Rural Affairs as part of National Tree Week.
Trees outside woodlands are defined as single trees in urban and rural areas making up almost a quarter of trees in Great Britain.
The valuation is based on the important role they play in taking in and storing carbon, regulating temperatures, strengthening flood resilience and reducing noise and air pollution.
Local MP Andrew Jones told Community News: “Our area is well-known for tree-lined streets and green spaces within our towns. We rarely think though about how these trees protect us from the effects of global warming. This study took the environmental benefits and quantified this financially. This demonstrates the impact trees have, wherever they are, in slowing down climate change and helping us mitigate its effects.”
By calculating their value the report will help to encourage councils, land managers and local communities to plant more trees outside of woodlands. As outlined in the Government’s England Trees Action Plan this will contribute to wider Government efforts to treble planting rates in England by the end of this Parliament and achieve net zero by 2050.
The report also estimates the Natural Capital Value, the financial and societal value of natural resources, of non-woodland trees to be between £68.5 billion and £151.5 billion.
In 2021/22, over half a million trees were planted outside of woodlands thanks to Government grants. These include the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, boosting deprived urban areas, the Local Authority Treescapes Fund accelerating tree planting in local communities and the Levelling Up Parks Fund which helps people across England to benefit from spending time in nature.