‘Ambitious plans’ to increase the number of trees across the Wrexham County Borough by 20% in the next ten years have been put forward.
In a ‘Draft Tree and Woodland Strategy’ due to go before the Homes and Environment Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday, proposals to increase the number of trees across the County Borough by 20% will be put before councillors.
The report comes as a result of the need for a new tree and woodland strategy for the County Borough.
In 2008 a ‘Tree Strategy’ for Council owned trees was carried out, which lasted up until 2013. With the previous strategy out of date, work has now begun on the creation of a report which would cover 2015-2025.
Much of the data / research on trees in Wrexham has been provided by the i-Tree Eco Study, which indicates that Wrexham’s tree population is ‘predominantly made up of young trees, with very few mature or older trees present’.
Speaking about the age of trees in Wrexham, the report goes onto add: “This highlights the need to retain as many of our older, large growing trees as possible to ensure we do not lose their valuable benefits of carbon storage, biodiversity and interception of flood water. Trees are lost through development, safety reasons and diseases.”
Also covered in the i-Tree Eco Study is information on the level of trees in the County Borough, with Wrexham having an average tree canopy cover of 17%.
The study goes onto reveal that Coedpoeth has one of the lowest urban tree canopy covers in Wales, with a total of just 6% coverage. Chirk, Wrexham Town Centre, Rhos, Penycae and Ruabon also have very low urban tree canopy cover – which are noted to be below the Welsh national average.
The proposed strategy to increase Wrexham’s tree coverage would include carrying out ‘targeted work’ to improve the wards that have the lowest tree coverage and by ‘ensuring the correct policies are in place in terms of planning and local development’. Plans would also be implemented to help protect existing trees.
The report also recommends that a public consultation on the ‘Draft Tree Survey’ is carried out over the summer.