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Importance of Arboriculture & Threats to London's Trees to be Highlighted at Arb Association Event

17 July 2017   (0 Comments)
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News Release | Arboricultural Association:

"Imagine London without its magnificent trees and the stark brutality of the remaining landscape if they were to disappear due to lack of professional care and the threat posed by pests and diseases"

This is the clarion call from Stewart Wardrop, chief executive of the Arboricultural Association, ahead of its presentation to the All-Party Parliamentary Gardening and Horticulture Group (APPGHG) in Victoria Tower Gardens, London on Tuesday 18th July 2017 from 9.30am to 11.00am. 

The Association recently completed a survey of UK tree officers. The aim was to assess the impact local authority funding constraints are having on the standard of tree care and the ability of tree officers to fulfil their rôles. There are 418 principal councils in the United Kingdom. Of the 163 responses, 83 per cent of tree officers considered  ongoing cutbacks had adversely affected their ability to do their job well.

As regards the causes of this negative impact, 72 per cent felt a combination of reduced staff capacity and reduced support functions, such as administration and enforcement, had the greatest affect. Tree officers were also concerned that reduced training budgets and continued professional development (CPD) were having a detrimental effect on their ability to carry out their work effectively. This erosion results in an increasing number of local authorities having a lack of professional and impartial expertise at their disposal.

The keynote presentation will be given by John Parker, chair of the London Tree Officers Association, on the vital role of local authority tree officers, as highlighted in ‘Trees in Towns II’, a study commissioned and published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, which recommended that every council should have a tree officer.

Parliamentarians attending the event close to the Palace of Westminster will learn from the Association's chairman and director of Barcham Trees Keith Sacre how the many benefits urban trees bring are now under threat, and how members of both houses can help the trees' plight. Sacre will be joined by James Roberts, biosecurity officer at Forestry Commission England, to outline the natural threats posed to trees and the strategy which can be employed to defeat such pests and diseases.

The morning will also include a practical tree climbing demonstration by Josephine Hedger, an arboricultural contractor, trainer and three-times world tree climbing champion.

If you would like to attend and cover the presentations, please RSVP to the Marketing Officer at Arboricultural Association, Stephen Hodsman, by 2.00pm Monday 17th July. 

Contact details: 07917413308 | stephen@trees.org.uk


Notes:

Independent Panel on Forestry: Final Report

In response to the DEFRA 'Independent Panel on Forestry: Final Report' published in July 2012 which recommended “that local authorities should be encouraged to take professional forestry and arboricultural management advice where planning applications affect trees and woodlands”, the Government stated:

“Local councils are aware of their statutory duties in regard to tree preservation orders (TPOs) and conservation area legislation. They make significant investment in securing arboricultural advice. Councils will need to consider how adequate tree services can continue to be provided, for example through greater cooperation and pooling of resources.”

In response to a recommendation within the same report, the Government agreed “…that trees and woodlands should be valued at the local level. We share the ambition for local councils and communities to plan positively for the protection and enhancement of their local environments, including trees and woodlands; to recognise the wider benefits of their local natural assets; and to support sustainable economic growth.”


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