Survey Of City’s Trees And Woodlands Underway

A three-year survey is getting underway which will plot and health check the city's many hundreds of thousands of trees, specimen trees and 277 hectares of woodland to enable management plans to be established

The work will be carried out by specialist qualified tree surveyors working for Enterprise Peterborough.

On completion of each ward assessment a schedule of trees which require attention, either because they are in poor health or a safety risk to the public, will be published on the council’s website notifying the work required.

There will then be a two-week period where people can comment before the necessary works take place. Where trees have been identified for urgent work, owing to the risk they pose, a notification notice will be attached to the tree to keep local residents informed.

The tree survey was launched in August and tree specialists have already assessed trees in North Bretton ward as well as those on cemetery land, at Peterborough Crematorium and in Central Park.

A schedule of works which are necessary in these areas, identified during the survey, will be published on the council’s website in the coming weeks to allow people the opportunity to comment.

The aim of the survey is to enhance and preserve the city’s trees by identifying all council owned trees and assessing their size, identifying the species, carrying out a risk assessment of each individual tree and identifying works which are necessary in the best interests of the tree and public safety.

Where it is necessary to fell a tree, another tree will be planted as close as possible to the tree that has been removed. In addition opportunities for further tree planting will be identified as part of the survey process.

Councillor Nigel North, Cabinet Advisor to the Leader on Environment Capital for Peterborough City Council, said:

One of the comments that people who are new to Peterborough often make is about the abundance of greenery in our city. We have a wonderful variety of trees, however it is important that they are regularly checked so that their age, health and, most importantly, safety, can be assessed and appropriate action taken. There is a need to improve our knowledge of trees in the city, which is why the Cabinet identified £750,000 in this year’s budget and in the next four year’s budgets to carry out an in depth tree survey to manage our tree stock. There will also be an increased frequency of inspection to ensure that the council’s trees and woodlands are maintained in a safe condition. It is inevitable that there will be some trees which need to be felled or cut back because they pose a risk to the public or are diseased. However, we will make every effort to alert members of the public and ward councillors to this before any work is undertaken. This survey is about creating a healthy tree population for the city which enhances our street scenes and open spaces

Surveys of trees in three areas of ancient woodland will also take place. This project is being undertaken in partnership with Peterborough Environment City Trust.

Ancient woodland at Bretton Woods is the first to be surveyed and details of the work necessary to manage this woodland is currently being formulated into a management plan for these areas. Some more urgent health and safety tree works will require implementation prior to the management plan being fully completed. These works will be published on the council’s website prior to commencement.

Darren Sharpe, Natural and Historic Environment Manager for Peterborough City Council, said:

“Whilst the tree survey is ongoing there will also be a need to respond to day-to-day issues with trees. If you are aware of a tree where you live which you think is in poor health or posing a risk, please contact us and let us know. Members of the public can report concerns about trees by calling (01733) 747474.”

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