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urbsur.jpg (27425 bytes)A Survey Of Urban Forestry In Britain

By Mark Johnston and Brian Rushton


This report presents the results of an extensive survey carried out by the author on a number of local authorities located within England, Wales and Scotland. It offers a detailed picture of the extent to which modern arboricultural methods of urban tree management are being developed and implemented by local authorities throughout Britain. The report is divided into the following sections.

Mark Johnston (author) obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree at the University of Ulster for research in urban forestry.

Mark has kindly consented to the free, on-line, distribution of his report through the AIE website.

During a recent discussion on the UKTC regarding this document, the following email was transmitted by the author, Dr M Johnston on the 11th February 2001.

"I thought I might just add an update on the reaction to the survey and the prospects of a second survey.

The survey report has certainly generated a lot of interest, particularly among Tree Officers. Much of this interest surrounds it relevance to Best Value. When LA's need to compare their performance on urban tree management against that of other LA's, the survey is a unique source of data. I'm very pleased that it is being used in this way. What I would also like to see, and what is recommended in the report, is the establishment of some nationally recognised standards of performance that all LA Tree Sections can aspire too. This could be done within the context of a Tree City Britain programme, similar to the Tree City USA scheme that has been running in the US for many years. It would be great to see one of the major industry bodies pick up on this idea.

After a print run of 750, we now have only about ten copies of the report left. However, there are still a few copies out there available from the sources that have been mentioned.

I think it is vitally important that another similar survey is conducted in the near future. The first survey would provide the baseline data from which we can measure progress, or the lack of it, on all the various aspects of urban tree management in the intervening period. In my view, to just let the first survey become slowly out of date without building on it with a second survey would be a real shame. The first survey was funded entirely by myself, as part of my doctorate research, although I did get some splendid support from organisations in the industry to publish the results. I have recently been in contact with Peter Annett at the DETR to interest them in funding a second survey. What would be a great help in encouraging the DETR to do this would be plenty of representations to them from Tree Officers and others involved in urban tree management. I know that quite a few have already done this but the more the DETR hear about the value of the first survey to the industry, and the importance of a second survey, the more likely they are to look positively on the idea.

If there are any Tree Officers out there who would like more information about the survey, I can be contacted at the Arboriculture Programme at Myerscough College."

Mark Johnston.


2001 Chris Skellern. AIE.    Home  | News | A-Z Index  | Resources  |  Contact AIE  |  Terms of Use