Birks 2

Following a number of successful cross-sector initiatives, Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) has fast gained respect across the spectrum of disciplines involved in urban planning - and the ear of the authorities and government. It is now using this influence to improve how trees are viewed and managed in the planning of hard landscapes.

JPA director Jeremy Peirce, a member of TDAG South West, said: ‘The UK’s trees are under increasing threat from both natural pests and diseases, and man-made issues such as climate change, pollution, development pressure and a lack of political will to ensure effective protection. It’s not at all over-stating the issue to say that if we don’t urgently re-think the role of trees and woodlands in modern society, and change the way in which we collectively manage and protect them, we will be sentencing future generations to a significantly lower quality of life.

‘And, with the unstoppable trend of urbanisation, there is special urgency in the way in which trees are considered in the planning and running of towns and cities. ’

In its latest initiative a small team from TDAG South West has canvased local authorities, tree officers, private sector consultants and planning agencies to gauge how well – or not - trees fare in the current planning system. 

This is the first dedicated and coordinated examination of this issue and TDAG hopes that it will help to identify where in the system, and why, trees are inadequately protected, so that a more favourable and practical process can be created.

Meanwhile, TDAG, among others, has been invited by the Green Infrastructure Partnership to help re-write the relevant section of the National Planning Practice Framework guidance on green infrastructure on the .GOV website.

The aim is to provide definitive and practical help for planners and developers on the protection and planting of urban trees so that, in the future, cities and towns support not only economic growth, but aesthetic value, protection and well-being, while better withstanding challenges such as climate change and extreme weather conditions.

Read our latest Myth Buster on the importance of tree protection on development sites. >>>