Birmingham bids to become a Tree City of the World

Discussions to establish Birmingham as the first officially designated ‘Tree City’ of the UK are being held between Birmingham City Council and the Arbor Day Foundation.

Council officers are meeting with a delegation from the US-based foundation about the possibility of becoming a member of the Tree Cities of the World Network, with the desired status requiring the city and the council to meet five core standards, covering responsibility, rules, resources and inventory.

Birmingham currently has over one million trees (equivalent to one per citizen). There are 1,398 hectares of woodland (equivalent to 2,097 football pitches) within Birmingham’s 591 parks and open spaces, whilst across the city, tree canopies cover 48.81 sq km.

John O’Shea, cabinet member for Street Scene and Parks at Birmingham City Council, said: “The people of Birmingham know that our parks and open spaces are some of our greatest assets. They add huge value to all aspects of our daily lives. That isn’t recognised enough outside our city, but becoming a world “Tree City” would raise our green profile and hopefully attract many more visitors to our great city, to see what we have to offer.

“Following the review of our tree policies in early 2018, linked to a developing tree and woodland strategy, we feel we meet the required standards and are confident that the status is within our reach.”

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