Community tree planting at Caia Park
Photo © Mike Whitley
There is a growing awareness in Britain that trees and woodlands in urban and peri-urban areas can make a positive contribution to the social and environmental justice agenda. Urban woodlands and green spaces can provide a range of benefits such as improved health and well-being, increased recreational opportunity and environmental improvements.
Welsh Government policy is committed to urban regeneration: incorporating the principles of sustainable development it aims to improve the quality of the environment and the quality of life for urban communities.
The TreeGeneration programme was established with the core objective of promoting and supporting a substantial increase in the planting of new trees and woodlands in urban environments in the counties of Wrexham and Flintshire in North East Wales and, subsequently, to determine the potential for a national urban forestry initiative for Wales.
Research summary (PDF-726K)
- To assess the fit of TreeGeneration within the wider strategic aims of Forestry Commission Wales and the relevance of the project to Welsh Government policy.
- To examine the delivery and partnership processes, outputs and outcomes, with a review of internal structures, processes and funding mechanisms.
- To summarise the available literature regarding the benefits of urban greening, allowing the TreeGeneration project to be understood in the wider context of community regeneration and development.
- The partnership approach of TreeGeneration was a strength, allowing for the project to become embedded in the two Local Authorities as well as the parent organisation.
- The diverse, and relatively unique, range of support, both monetary and non, offered to applicants was felt to be appropriate and valuable.
- The awareness raising exercises highlighted the existing, often negative, attitudes towards trees and woodlands in urban areas. Particular resistance was experienced from the business community, citing a fear that tree cover would exacerbate existing crime and anti social behaviour issues.
TreeGeneration: A review of the urban forestry pilot project for North East Wales (PDF-671K). Forest Research, October 2008.
Funders and partners
- Forestry Commission Wales
- Countryside Council for Wales
- Wrexham County Borough Council
- Flintshire County Council
Forestry Commission policy
Forestry Commission Wales recognises the links between trees and woodlands and quality of life for urban and disadvantaged communities. Strategic objectives are to encourage "…the use of trees and woodlands to improve air quality and urban landscapes…" and "…to look for opportunities to use trees and woodlands in urban settings to maximise emotional and physical well being" (Woodlands for Wales).
The evaluation, carried out by Roz Owen, was completed in 2008.
Head of Social and Economic Research Group
Centre for Human and Ecological Sciences
Northern Research Station
Midlothian EH25 9SY
Tel: 0131 445 2176
Fax: 0131 445 5124