The value of protecting our trees: £170million replacement cost

PUBLISHED: 12:35 23 October 2015

A talk on trees and hedges was given at Kennaway House on Wednesday as part of Sidmouth Science Week.  Ref shs 4332-42-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

A talk on trees and hedges was given at Kennaway House on Wednesday as part of Sidmouth Science Week. Ref shs 4332-42-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

A major survey of trees in the Sid Valley has marked the first step towards protecting and improving the environment for years to come.

Sidmouth Science Festival provided a forum for Kenton Rogers of Treeconomics to reveal and analyse the summary report of the work carried out by volunteers across 18 square miles of the valley.

Well received by a wide audience, including students from St John’s International School, the results will form the basis of future action and the organising of groups ahead of a tree summit on November 27.

Sidmouth Arboretum commissioned the survey in order to get facts on the values and benefits of trees, with the help of non-profit-making organisation, Treeconomics.

Diana East, chairman of Sidmouth Arboretum, said there has been a great deal of support so far from across the Sid Valley, including from land owners and volunteers.

She said: “The survey is the beginning, it’s the first step. It gives some figures and some publicity from which to move forwards.

“On November 27, a group of people will come together and this will be an opportunity to see what we are actually going to do about this - where we are going to plant trees and how can we protect trees we have.

“We are working in a very positive way with Sidmouth Town Council to improve the appearance of The Ham and boat park by planting trees and maintaining trees and hedges.”

The survey report puts a price tag of £170million on replacing Sid Valley trees and says putting a value on them helps people to understand that care and maintenance are real issues especially in the urban landscape.

At the talk, hosted at Kennaway House on Wednesday, October 14, Robert Wolton also invited people to get involved with a community hedge group – details of which will be finalised at the tree summit.

The summit will be held at the Cellar Bar of Kennaway House between 6pm and 9pm on Friday, November 27, and will provide an opportunity for people to network and share ideas in an informal setting.

To see the summary report of the tree survey, visit: www.sidmoutharboretum.org.uk.

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