Aerial mapping company Bluesky has published the first ever nationwide map of trees revealing the true extent of our ‘green and pleasant land’. Topping the charts at numbers one and two respectively are local authority districts Surrey Heath and Waverly both with over 40 per cent tree cover. Leafy Surrey, with some of the highest house prices in the UK, is also home to five other districts ranked in the top ten for tree cover by Bluesky. Neath Port Talbot flies the Welsh flag with a chart topping 32 per cent while aptly named Bracknell Forest and New Forest District Councils hold the remaining top ten places.
At the other end of the spectrum, and ranked at the bottom of the table with just over 2 per cent tree cover are Lincolnshire based districts Boston and South Holland. Neighbouring Fenland and East Cambridgeshire also fall within the bottom 10 districts for tree cover as, possibly less surprisingly, does the City of London.
“These statistics are just a glimpse into the detail provided by our National Tree Map,” commented Bluesky’s Managing Director Rachel Tidmarsh. “It’s really interesting to be able to blow some preconceived ideas out of the window and dispel many popular misconceptions that surround the way we view the places in which we work, live and play. However, behind the headlines, the Bluesky National Tree Map is a serious source of information that is already being used by a number of organisations, including Councils, government organisations and utility companies, to inform the better management of our landscape and protect our infrastructure.”
These statistics have been published by Leicestershire based aerial mapping company Bluesky following the release earlier this year of the UK’s first detailed National Tree Map. The digital dataset has been created from the most up to date, high resolution aerial photography, colour infrared data and detailed height models. It includes three individual map layers, detailing more than 280 million trees with a canopy cover in the region of 20,000 square kilometres – around 13.5 per cent of land cover! Middle table ranking and closest to the national tree cover percentage, as calculated by Bluesky, is North Dorset District with a National Tree Map cover of 13.67 per cent.
National Tree Map data is already in use in a number of Local Authorities, commercial organisations and academic institutions as well as a Central Government agency and utilities.