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The Need for a Tree 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 MBC 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 is 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.

Relationship To Other Documents

In the production of the Tree Strategy we have taken regard of other strategic and policy documents produced by the Council and other bodies.  Appendix 1 details the documents w e have referred to.