Edinburgh’s trees helping make the city a better place to live

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8 MARCH 2013NEWS RELEASE No: 15867

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An innovative study has estimated that Edinburgh’s urban forest removes around 100 tonnes of harmful airborne pollutants each year.

Carried out by Forestry Commission Scotland and The City of Edinburgh Council, the study is the first of its kind in Scotland. It explored how much carbon dioxide each year is absorbed from the atmosphere by the 600,000 trees living within the Capital.

Urban trees are known to enrich city dwellers’ lives by improving their health and well-being but trees can also have an economic value by increasing property prices and especially through their environmental impact.

In Edinburgh, the economic value of removing airborne pollution is estimated to be worth around £2.3 million. In addition, the trees are estimated to remove a similar amount of atmospheric carbon produced by cars driving 135 million km every year, or the equivalent of 20,000 people’s annual emissions.

Announcing the study, Paul Wheelhouse, Environment & Climate Change Minister said:

“Urban trees, together with community woods, parks and green spaces are the lungs of our Capital.  Trees enhance the landscape and provide great places to go walking, cycling or to simply get away from it all and relax. 

“Edinburgh’s trees are hugely valued by many people from all walks of life. I welcome this pioneering study as it provides useful information for those formulating tree planting and woodland management plans.”

Councillor Lesley Hinds, Environment Convener, The City of Edinburgh Council, added:

"This ground-breaking study demonstrates in detail the benefits Edinburgh residents get day in and day out from a healthy tree population.

“We've been working closely with Forestry Commission Scotland on this report and are delighted at some of the findings it has highlighted.

“In particular, the fact that 71% of Edinburgh's trees have been assessed to be in excellent condition and the significant impact this has on reducing air pollution in the city.

“This report will go on to help shape and develop the work of our Parks & Greenspace service to better improve the quality of Edinburgh's tree stock for years to come."

A full copy of the report can be found on www.forestry.gov.uk/wiat#edtree


Notes to Editors
1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government’s Environment & Forestry Directorate www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

2. For news, events and recreation information log on to www.facebook.com/enjoyscotlandsforests or www.twitter.com/fcscotland

3. The FCS agobair mar bhuidheann-stiùiridhcoilltearachdRiaghaltasna h-Alba agus a’ riaghladhnan 660,000 heactaireanann an OighreachdnaCoilleNàiseanta, a’ dìonadh, a’ cumailsmachd air agus a’ leudachadhnancoillteangusbuannachdan a thoirtdhacoimhearsnachdan, an eaconamaidhagus, agobair an aghaidhatharrachadhgnàth-shìde. www.forestry.gov.uk/scotland

4. Media enquiries to Steve Williams, Forestry Commission Scotland press office on  0131 314 6508

e-mail: steve.williams@forestry.gsi.gov.uk