Results of the i-Tree Eco survey.
Trees and woodlands help to make urban living more enjoyable because they provide a range of benefits, or ‘ecosystem services’, to people living in and around the towns and cities they’re located in. Trees improve local air quality, capture and store carbon, reduce flooding and cool urban environments. They provide a home for urban wildlife, a space for people to relax, exercise and they can support community interaction.
In 2016, it was agreed that the Petersfield Society would find out more about the trees in the town, on behalf of Petersfield Town Council, East Hants District Council and South Downs National Park Authority. Supported by Forest Research, the Society organised a ‘citizen science’ project to survey a representative sample of the town’s trees using trained volunteers.
Using a well-known and accepted assessment and evaluation model – i-Tree Eco – important urban tree benefits across the parish were monetised so that the real impact of having these trees in the town could be understood in financial terms. The survey also provided detailed information on tree structure, species composition and values in the central built up area of the town and the surrounding countryside within the parish boundary. Such information should allow better decision making about the town’s trees and their management.
A detailed report of the survey and its findings was published in 2017, and was reprinted in 2020. Copies can be ordered at a cost of £10 (firstname.lastname@example.org) or downloaded free-of-charge at www.petersfieldsociety.org.uk/itree.pdf