Trees could be one of the best solutions to our climate emergency – multifunctional, living tools that help make our urban areas more resilient to challenges of a rapidly changing environment. They can:
Trees and woods also help to connect communities and ensure our urban areas are economically, socially and environmentally more sustainable.
They also provide an important introduction to the natural world for children and access to green space has been know to boost pupil performance and even IQ.
Greater Manchester’s trees sequester 56,530 tonnes of carbon each year and the current carbon of all the trees in the region is 1,573,015 tonnes (as of 2018).
As a newly planted forest matures, just half a hectare is enough to soak up as much carbon as an average driver generates in an entire lifetime of motoring.
Trees and woods also help to protect our soil carbon – they hold onto soil and prevent erosion.
Trees also play a role in tackling flooding and cleaning polluted water. They can reduce surface water runoff, which can overload drainage systems and lead to flash flooding.
They can also help prevent soil erosion which is happening due to increased rainfall, leading to the loss of valuable topsoil and the pollution of watercourses.
Greater Manchester’s trees act as a filtration system for harmful air pollutants – removing 847 tonnes of pollutants each year. They also produce 122,450 tonnes of oxygen each year (statistics via i-Tree 2018).
Well considered and planned urban trees 'the right tree in the right place' can capture pollution particles and shield pedestrians from car emissions by creating cleaner pockets of air. In urban areas can lower temperatures, helping to combat global heating.
Woodlands provide habitats for wildlife with many species relying on them to survive, whilst urban green spaces provide crucial ‘stepping stones’ between residential and built up areas. A mature oak tree may host up to 423 different species of invertebrates alone!
55% of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050*
Trees in urban areas can lower temperatures helping to combat global heating and the urban heat island effect. In turn this can reduce air conditioning costs of building saving as much as 10% on annual energy consumption and cutting down air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels.
*2018 Revision of World Urbanization Prospects produced by the Population Division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)