The report which follows is a result of work carried out by the Value of Trees steering group and Treeconomics. The Value of Trees Project (VoT) was set up in recognition of the increasing challenges being faced in ensuring the continued presence and resilience of trees along the highway network. These challenges include climate change, the threats from imported pest and disease, continued highway safety and the contentious issue of responsibility for future tree management and maintenance.
With funding available through the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) approached Leicestershire County Council (LCC) in 2021 to ask if they would deliver a project to develop an approach that would assist local authorities to re-establish trees as an important feature along the highway network. Specialist consultants Treeconomics were engaged to deliver, in consultation with the VoT steering group, a report outlining an approach which could be implemented by LCC and have the potential to be used by other local authorities across the UK. The aim of the project was to produce a ‘toolkit’ that would deliver high quality tree planting schemes on or near the highway that provide multiple and clearly identified benefits for communities and stakeholders.
This report provides an evidence base to support the ‘toolkit’ and offers suggestions as to how the individual elements of the report can be harmonised and used together to achieve the objectives outlined above.