The economic value of individual trees planted outside of woodland and woodland has been put at £3.8 billion in the UK.
Outside woodland reeds are defined as solitary trees in urban and rural areas, ranging from the classic spreading hedge to the road-lined solitary trees, accounting for almost a quarter of the trees in Britain.
The assessment is based on the important role trees play in sequestering and storing carbon, regulating temperatures, enhancing resilience to flooding, and reducing noise and air pollution.
Together, these help mitigate climate change, reduce damage to infrastructure and people from flooding, cool cities in the summer, and improve health and well-being.
The numbers are revealed in a new study published by Forest Research and Defra.
Kieron Doick, director of forest research, said: “Trees are valuable infrastructure assets for various land uses, much like you might think of lamp posts or drains. In addition, it underscores the much larger role of mature trees in providing benefits to society – compared to their younger counterparts.
The UK Government has said that by quantifying their value, the report will help motivate councils, land managers and local communities to plant more trees outside forests as they offer diverse and numerous benefits.
“As set out in our Action Plan for Trees in England, this will contribute to wider Government efforts to triple planting rates in England by the end of this Parliament and reach net zero by 2050,” it said in a statement.
The report also estimates the natural capital value of non-forest trees at £68.5 billion to £151.5 billion in 2020 prices. This represents the value of the trees over the course of a century and provides a comparison to other natural assets.
In 2021/22, thanks to government grants, over half a million trees were planted outside of forests.
Forest Secretary Trudy Harrison said: “It demonstrates the immense environmental and economic value and benefits that trees bring to society that cannot be underestimated.
“As set out in our Trees in England Action Plan, we are committed to tripling tree planting rates in England by 2024 and by quantifying the significant value of trees, this research will help encourage planting in our communities across the country to accomplish.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/news/trees-planted-outside-woodlands-worth-over-38bn-in-uk-42229711.html Trees planted outside forests worth over £3.8 billion in the UK