By Richard Gravelle
A recent report by the woodland trust has suggested that trees can play an important role in improving the quality of life in British towns and cities. Trees have been shown to improve air quality, reduce ambient temperatures and have a positive benefit on people’s health.
It is estimated that 80% of Britons live in urban areas. However, only 10% have access to woodland within 500 m of their homes. This is widely attributed not only to urban expansion, but also to reduced planting schemes. The trust aims to remedy this by planting 20 million native trees every year. This has been supported by the coalition government, who estimate that each tree planted in central London is worth as much as £78,000 in its benefits to the surrounding area.
The report hopes to influence local planners and promote the growth of a green infrastructure which could save the UK millions of pounds in healthcare costs and improve house prices.