Representatives of the Woodland Trust, The Bristol Tree Forum, The Forest of Avon Trust and Bristol City Council met last Thursday 1 March to start the process of developing a Tree Strategy for Bristol. This is the first tentative step in a process which will include consultation and involvement of all those groups and individuals who have an interest in Bristol’s trees.
The process of developing a strategy will need a lot of thought: Bristol has woodland trees, park trees, trees on private land, street trees and trees on corporate land (including university trees). In each case, the costs and benefits and what we would like to achieve are different, as are those we would want to involve. The idea is to start a “conversation” which would include an online platform, a number of exploratory meetings with key partners and then, in June, a public meeting which would be convened by the Woodland Trust, the Bristol Tree Forum and the Forest of Avon Trust in collaboration with Bristol City Council.
Without pre-judging what might be in a tree strategy, these are some of the considerations:
Bristol already has a lot of good practice in place, both at a policy level and through individual case studies. The idea would be to collate all this together with a clear approach to improve the management of existing trees, the planting of new trees and to increase community engagement in tree management. Inevitably we will need to bring funding to Bristol to meet these goals and a good tree strategy will help with this.
The initial discussion was very positive – it is something we have talked about for some time and I am really pleased that there is now the momentum to carry it forward.
Vice-chair Bristol Tree Forum