The Need for a Strategy
The care of the environment has become a major issue at a global level and the Rio Summit particularly emphasised care of the environment at local level in Agenda 21. Particular attention has been focused upon the role of trees by various Government agencies. In 1990, the Commission of the European Communities published a Green Paper on the environment which highlighted the importance of trees, stating “The protection and improvement of open spaces and habitats and the planting of trees enhance the visual pleasure provided by urban areas and can also help to combat the micro-climate effects which concentrate pollutants within the city and the pollutants themselves”.
In 1993 the Department of the Environment published the results of its “Trees in Towns” (HMSO November 1993) survey. This included a recommendation that Local Authorities produce a framework for urban tree management, taking a strategic overview of the status, condition and management of the trees in their area. Subsequently in 1994 a further report “Urban Tree Strategies” was published by the Department of the Environment (HMSO September 1994), further detailing individual Local Authority Tree Strategies.
Within the policy framework of Dudley Council tree issues have been addressed where they touch the main issues of a document. This had led to some fragmentation of the way in which the tree stock is viewed by various committees.
It was necessary, therefore, to bring together the needs and wishes of all committees, the public and professionals to provide a Borough-wide framework. Within this framework tree issues can be addressed and the tree stock given the consideration and management it deserves.
The strategy is designed to be of interest and practical use to a wide variety of people. It is hoped that interested residents of the Borough will be able to use the strategy to aid them in the care of their own trees and to encourage interest in the reasons and methods by which the Council maintains Council owned trees on behalf of all residents.
The strategy is for reference for elected members to aid them in their work representing the people of the Borough. It is for the use and guidance of professionals involved in development, building surveying, provision of statutory and other services and any others whose work may from time to time have direct or indirect effects upon the trees within our Borough whether they are employed in the private sector or within the Local Authority itself.
Finally, it is designed for the tree surgeons working on the trees within the Borough to encourage good quality work to the highest standards of the arboricultural profession.
Projects And Partners
The Tree strategy has been developed in partnership with the following environmental organisations:
With these organisations the council has committed itself to the implementation and maintenance of the Black Country Urban Forest.