New step-by-step toolkit published by the Tree Council and DEFRA to help communities realise the multiple benefits trees can deliver to local areas

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the Tree Council have recently published (on 1st December 2022) a toolkit that provides step-by-step guidance for local authorities to develop an effective trees and woodland strategy to realise the multiple benefits trees can deliver to their communities. The toolkit can be adapted to benefit other types of organisation seeking to develop a trees and woodland strategy.

The toolkit is designed to help local authorities:

o Create a resilient tree scape.
o Identify opportunities to plant more trees and woodlands, and
o Be more strategic about planting and managing trees

The toolkit is comprehensive, research-based, and includes best practice case studies developed with an extensive engagement with local authorities.

Creating a strategy will help local authorities by:

o Making the case for trees as a key asset to achieve economic, environmental and social objectives.
o Providing a framework for a healthy tree scape.
o Unlocking opportunities for new funding streams.
o Encouraging partnership working with local stakeholders.
o Improving community health and wellbeing.
o Engaging with the public, harnessing ‘people power’ and giving communities a say in the future of their trees.
o Mitigating public health risks through strategic tree management, and
o Including trees into planning policy and highway management.

For further information and to access the Trees and Woodland Strategy for Local Authorities, please visit the GOV.UK website.