This is Coventry’s first tree strategy and is a real milestone for its trees; setting the scene for the City’s management, care and development of its urban forest going into the future and certainly for the next 10 years covered by the strategy.
Coventry is particularly blessed with a large and extensive tree canopy. In fact, it can be argued that this canopy characterises the City. The Council is responsible for the management of over 45,000 individual trees in parks, highways and other green spaces and an estimated 200,000 woodland trees.
The importance of trees is becoming increasingly recognised not least through global changes which are and will affect everyone on the planet.
- Trees are important in our efforts to combat climate change capturing CO2 and releasing oxygen
- They help keep the air in our city clean by absorbing pollutants
- They help keep our streets cool and provide shade from ultraviolet light
- They hold water on their surface helping with flood alleviation
- They provide a valuable food and habitat resource supporting countless birds, animals and invertebrates
- Trees are great for people's health and well-being and for bringing people together
- They also have an economic value, provide a potential and sustainable source of energy but they also increase property values
There are of course many other values and the list could go on. These values have been well recognized by the Council which has committed along with our partners to an ambitious plan to plant 360,000 trees for every member of Coventry’s population over the life of the strategy. A Tree for Every Citizen.
This strategy represents our plan to ensure that the City’s tree stock is looked after well; reducing risk, increasing tree numbers, protecting and revering our veteran trees and providing a diverse and sustainable tree stock for future generations to enjoy. The tree strategy will help focus our limited resources where it really matters and work effectively with partners and stakeholders to achieve the overall aims.
We are delighted to introduce our city’s first-ever tree strategy.
We are so proud of our green city, and as a Council we work hard to protect our wonderful trees and green spaces. This policy is the next step in that vital work. It is incredible to think of the many thousands and thousands of trees in our city, and this strategy tells of the ways we will protect them and the many reasons why we must do so – from improving air quality to preventing flooding and improving the quality of life for all.
But we want to do more. And as part of this strategy, we are pledging, along with our partners, to plant a tree for every citizen – a total of 360,000 new trees.
That would make such a difference to us all – and to the generations to come. Our urban forest covers streets and parks, schools, cemeteries, housing estates, private gardens and more. Sometimes it is easy to walk past trees that have been there for years and not even notice them – but we would miss them so much if they were gone. In recent months our city has undergone vast changes. We have welcomed new attractions and unveiled a new-look city centre. We have improved our roads and seen businesses grow.
Our trees and greenery are built into each area of that work.
They help our mental wellbeing, support wildlife, clean our air, cool our city and so much more. They are things of beauty, a living part of our city and we must look after them all – from the ancient oaks of Kenilworth Road and Coombe Abbey to the trees that honour the Fallen at our War Memorial Park and the newest saplings. In many of the challenges that face us today, and the ones to come in the years ahead, our trees can help us, and they need to be considered as we continue to build the Coventry of the future.
We can all play a part in that work and ensure our urban forest continues to grow and spread its protective branches across our city. We are very proud of this strategy and would like to thank all those responsible for creating it and those who work to keep Coventry a green and beautiful place.
Cllr Patricia Hetherton
Cllr Abdul Salam Khan
Report Author: Red Kite Network Limited.
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