The tree stock of Dudley Borough may be thought of as a patchwork that:
Creates Character And Variety ….
Across the Borough areas are defined by the age and mixture of species typical to them. For instance, the characteristic Victorian Lime trees in the Stourbridge area or the London Plane trees gracing the roads near Wren’s Nest NNR and Priory Park.
The Parks throughout the Borough are given their main characteristics by the choice and siting of their tree planting, such as the classical 18th century landscape of Leasowes Park, Halesowen, with vistas shaped by views through carefully sited native woodland or the formal turn of the century avenues of Limes within Stevens Park, Quarry Bank. In some areas the majority of the significant trees are situated in private or Council owned gardens, such as in Sedgley, in others the more significant trees are situated in roadside verges, small open spaces and larger parks, such as in Coseley. Some areas are fortunate to have large mature trees with great visual impact and importance, for example the trees in the Kingswinford, Wordsley and Pedmore areas, whereas others have young trees which, carefully managed, will increase in value as years go on, as are found in the newer residential areas. One particular type of tree may predominate in an area, Cherries in Russells Hall, Willows in Pensnett; or there may be a variety of species as in areas of Halesowen.
…. Encourages Wildlife
All our trees in residential areas, whether in streets, gardens or parks, link with the established woodlands and nature reserves within the Borough such as Saltwells semi-natural ancient woodland or Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve. They link also to smaller pockets of mass planting used as landscaping in new estates or to green vacant land. Good links are vital to bringing wildlife into closer contact with us, birds to enjoy, insects and hedgehogs to help gardeners, bats and badgers if we are fortunate.
…. Improves Neighbourhoods
The pieces of the patchwork are joined together by the major highways, which run through the Borough. Some are heavily used by local traffic, others take travellers through the Borough. The view along these routes may be the only impression of the Borough a traveller receives, or it may be the sight seen every day as we travel to and from school, work, shopping or social events. Good tree cover also increases house prices, encourages investment, reduces the effect of pollution and cuts down traffic noise.
In summer these trees cool our built up area and slow the run off of water. They even provide somewhere shady to park the car beneath on a hot day! We are fortunate that some of our major roads already have trees along some of their length, whether in streets, gardens, parks or woodlands. For example, the entrances to Wall Heath, Kingswinford and Wordsley from the west, the Stourbridge Road in Woodside, Brettell Lane, Brierley Hill, and the delightful entrance to Dudley along The Broadway. These trees need to be protected and cared for, and new trees need to be planted to link up all these major roads into a green network of transport routes.
…. And Needs Care
It is obvious from the above that the task to protect and enhance the tree stock is a massive one:
- mature trees and woodland to be managed well
- young trees to be nurtured
- new trees to be planted.
Everyone has a part to play, whether they have a garden which could take a tree or are the custodians of one planted years ago. Those who have no garden may enjoy trees in parks and woodland, live close to street trees or have local knowledge or where trees could be planted.
So many of our activities may have an effect on trees, which may not be immediately apparent – laying a new drive, putting salt on icy pavements, installing cable TV. This task can only be achieved with all parts of our community thinking and acting for trees, whether they be:
- private companies
- voluntary organisations
- public agencies.
The role of the Tree Strategy is to focus our joint and individual efforts into ways in which we can best look after our vital tree resource.