The urban forest of Belfast is a vital resource for the city. It provides a number of benefits to the residents, and the ecosystem services reported here are just a few of them. This study captures an immediate snapshot of the urban forest at the present time in relation to the plots sampled. It does not consider how the urban forest has or might change over time, or the reasons for this change. Its purpose is to provide a means to make informed decisions on how the urban forest could and should change in the future, and how to ensure that it is healthy and resilient.
- i-Tree Eco estimates that there are over 808,000 trees in Belfast. Tree cover in Belfast stands at an estimated 14.5% and shrub cover at an estimated 8.6%, making up a total canopy cover of 23% of Belfast covering 3,080 hectares.
- These trees have the potential to trap and remove over 210 tonnes of air pollution annually at a value of nearly £7.5 million. These pollutants include ozone (O3), sulphur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
- These trees reduce surface runoff by over 317,000 m3 per year. This volume is equivalent to 127 Olympic swimming pools of surface runoff being averted every single year, and it is worth an estimated £593,000 in avoided surface runoff treatment costs.
- In total, the 808,000 trees store around 319,000 tonnes of carbon and sequester more than 8,890 tonnes of carbon annually with associated values of around £290,000,000 and £593,000 respectively