The Torbay I-Tree survey, Torbay’s Urban Forest – Assessing Urban Forest Effects and Values, has now been published by Treeconomics.
The analysis demonstrates that the value of urban trees to the environment significantly exceeds their cost in management. The figures have already had a positive impact as they have been used by Torbay Council to justify an additional investment of £25,000 into its tree maintenance budget.
The main findings of the Treeconomics Torbay survey, which estimated that the borough has around 818,000 trees, covering 11.8% of its land area, are included in the full report:
1. Torbay’s trees have a structural (or replacement) value of around £280 million.
2. Torbay’s trees store around 98,000 tonnes of carbon, worth over £5 million and sequester around another 3,320 tonnes per year, valued at over £170,000.
3. The trees remove around 50 tonnes of particulate air pollution from the local atmosphere each year, equivalent to the emissions of 53.000 large family cars and worth £1.3 million per annum.
The Treeconomics report concludes that Torbay’s urban forest provides the equivalent of at least £1.5 million in ecological services each year. The value of these services alone is much greater that the annual cost of their care and maintenance. However, this is a conservative estimate because only a proportion of the total benefits have been evaluated and the trees actual value will probably be even greater.
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