South Yorkshire's urban forest undergoes comprehensive survey to shape future tree strategies

SURVEYORS are examining trees across South Yorkshire to tot up the benefits they provide to the region – and help shape the future of the “urban forest”.

A large study has been commissioned to study trees across Rotherham and beyond to help make strategic plans for the future of trees.

South Yorkshire Woodland Partnership said it was part of a region-wide effort to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies.

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The survey will be led by UK consultancy Treeconomics, in partnership with South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley Councils, the Woodland Partnership and surveyors from three firms.

Surveying will take place across 750 randomly selected plots on both public and private land.

Matt North from the Woodland Partnership said: “It's great news that this work has started.

"Thanks to the support from the Woodland Creation Acceleration Fund, we will be able to add to the information from the same survey for Sheffield developed a couple of years back.

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“We will know what benefits trees and woodlands bring us, where they are (and aren't!), as well as potential threats, all of which will help us to improve and expand our woodland cover.

“This information is vital to developing a Tree and Woodland Strategy for South Yorkshire with all our local authority partners, which will include plans for tree planting and woodland creation."

A report to be completed by December will provide necessary information “to underpin the decisions made by urban forest managers to improve their trees’ resilience and diversity”, said SYWP, as well as addressing potential threats from a changing climate and risks associated with pests and diseases.