Street Tree Working Strategy for Sheffield sets out new direction for the care of the city’s highway trees
The Working Strategy has been developed by a group of partners including representatives of Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG), Sheffield City Council (SCC), Amey, independent experts from Natural Capital Solutions and Leeds City Council as well as the Woodland Trust, with Liz Ballard, Chief Executive of Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust in the role of Independent Chair.
Care of street trees presents unique challenges as they are often coping with things like traffic pollution, road salt, compacted soils and drought. Despite the sometimes tough highway environment, the Working Strategy recognises the contribution of street trees to health and wellbeing, air quality and other ecological and environmental benefits. It outlines new ways of working around six outcomes to ensure the city’s network of street trees is well-maintained and sustained for the future by:
- Sustainably and carefully managing our street trees in accordance with best practice
- Ensuring our street trees are more resilient through the type and age of trees we plant and also how we manage the current street tree stock
- Increasing the value and benefits that flow from our street trees
- Contributing to a more equal distribution of urban forest across the city to promote health & wellbeing
- Increasing street tree canopy cover
- Involving the wider community in caring for and valuing street trees
Liz Ballard, Chair of the Sheffield Street Tree Strategy Development Group said: ‘We set out to develop an exemplary Partnership Street Tree Strategy for Sheffield that values street trees for the benefits they bring to people, the city and the wider environment. And we believe this Working Strategy is just that. ‘
As part of the strategy development, the group collated and commissioned baseline data for Sheffield’s street trees. The report – also released today – is thought to be the first of its kind for street trees. It values the ecosystem benefits of Sheffield’s street trees using a state-of-the-art open source software system used worldwide to assess and manage urban tree populations.