Barnet Councillors voted to approve the Tree Planting policy, which includes a commitment to plant 5,000 trees by 2028 at yesterday’s (14 March) Environment and Climate Change Committee. The policy is part of the council’s ambitious plan to become one of London’s most sustainable boroughs, and to achieve its target of being a net zero borough by 2042.

The council’s existing Tree Policy was adopted in 2017 and sets out responsibilities for tree management in Barnet, alongside tree planting targets to be delivered by 2023. The new policy builds on the progress made under the existing policy and is based on research, evidence, stakeholder engagement, and consideration of national and regional policy.

Councillor Alan Schneiderman, Chair of Barnet Council’s Climate and Change Committee, said:

“The council’s new Tree Planting Policy is an essential step towards achieving our goal of becoming one of London’s most sustainable boroughs and includes a focus on areas of poor air quality.

“We recognise the need to work together to respond to the challenges of the climate and biodiversity emergency, to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents, and caring for the future of our planet.

“It also aligns with the council’s commitment to becoming a net zero council by 2030 and borough by no later than2042, as part of its BarNET ZERO campaign.”

The policy includes a focus on improving ecosystem services and will guarantee the replacement of every street tree felled to support creating a sustainable urban forest.

Barnet has a diverse range of trees in both age and species, from London’s oldest tree in St Andrew’s Churchyard, which is 2,000 years old, to over 30,000 street trees and 848 hectares of greenspace and woodland, totalling over 52,000 individual trees within the borough. As such, the borough has a high level of canopy cover at 27%, higher than both the London and England averages.

The Tree Planting Policy has six key aims and objectives, including supporting the council’s commitment to climate change initiatives and the delivery of the Sustainability Strategy targets, increasing street tree canopy cover to improve ecosystem services, guaranteeing the replacement of every street tree that is removed, supporting and enhancing opportunities for community engagement, preservation of existing mature and maturing trees, and utilising new and improved methods of tree planting and aftercare.

Residents, businesses, and council staff are invited to join the BarNET ZERO campaign and learn more about the council’s actions towards becoming a net zero carbon borough.

To read the new Tree Planting Policy and for more information on the BarNET ZERO campaign visit External link

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