15 May 2018
Ambitious i-Tree Eco research project to be undertaken supporting the development of the Northern Forest.
City of Trees is leading on the ‘All Our Trees’ initiative which will see a monetary value put on Greater Manchester’s trees and woods.
Using the state of the art i-Tree Eco software system, developed by the US Forestry Service, surveyors are being recruited to assess thousands of random points across Greater Manchester.
They will be gathering information about the location of all trees in a randomly sampled plot of land as well as tree species, height, width and diameter of each tree. They will also be assessing its health and general condition with the data being fed into the software system.
i-Tree Eco will then calculate the economic benefit that the combined resource these trees and woods bring to the City region, including pollution reduction, carbon storage, mitigating the effects of climate change as well as health and wellbeing improvements.
‘All Our Trees’ is one of the most ambitious research projects of its kind in the UK due to the huge area that is planned to be surveyed.
The data will be used to both identify more land for planting as well as protect existing trees and woods.
It will also aid the ambitious plans for a new Northern Forest by unlocking potential for large scale planting projects. Government-backed plans for a Northern Forest were launched earlier this year by The Woodland Trust and the Community Forests, of which City of Trees is one of. The vision is for 50 million trees to be planted across the North of England, stretching from Liverpool to Hull, within 25 years.
i-Tree Eco surveys have been undertaken in Oldham, Wrexham and Torbay, as well as Greater London who valued their 8,421,000 million trees as having £132.7 million quantifiable benefits per year.
Treeconomics social enterprise Director Kenton Rogers adds; “The i-Tree Eco tool can help us to look at trees differently – as natural assets providing important social, environmental and economic benefits - rather than in the context of a risk or hazard.” He adds; “By calculating the value of trees and woods it means we can better understand, respect and utilise these amazing resources – ensuring trees continue to deliver their environmental services for future generations”.
Tony Hothersall, Director, City of Trees, comments; “All Our Trees’ will provide us with a wealth of data around our existing tree and woodland resource, and give us powerful, tangible evidence to help ensure policy makers get trees and woods up the agenda for Greater Manchester”.