A unique countrywide map detailing the location, height and canopy cover of tree locations is helping the UK’s Tamworth Borough Council protect important amenity trees in the borough. Tamworth is an eight-time gold winner of national Heart of England in Bloom competition and the Bluesky National Tree Map is helping the Council identify, manage and protect trees, including those subject to Tree Preservation Orders and other planning constraints. The tree map data is accessed via the authority’s GIS and is available to all staff via its Web Mapping Service (WMS).
“Trees make an essential contribution to the environment and have been proven to deliver both health and economic benefits. Using the Bluesky National Tree Map data we can offer better protection for the most important trees in the Borough and inform future planting plans. We can also identify and therefore better maintain trees for which we have the responsibility,” commented Jon McDevitt, Digital Data Manager at Tamworth Borough Council.
Specialist users of the Bluesky National Tree Map data, specifically within the Council’s StreetScene and Development Control Services, access the data using the Council Cadcorp desktop GIS. Applications of the data include analysis of Council made Tree Preservation Orders – orders made to protect specific trees, groups of trees or woodland, from deliberate damage or destruction in the interest of amenity. The data is also being used to monitor trees that are subject to conditions and or protection as part of granted planning permissions and identify trees located on Council owned land.
The Bluesky National Tree Map data is also available to staff throughout the organisation, helping identify and locate other Council assets or services and when answering queries from members of the public, using StatMap. “Bluesky has always been innovative in its product development and the use of its aerial photography to create products such as the National Tree Map is of real benefit to organisations, like us, that are charged with the protection of the natural environment,” continued McDevitt. “Without this type of geographically accurate data, it is likely that staff would take longer to deal with queries from the public, would have to make more site visits and would spend longer planning routine maintenance work.”
Bluesky National Tree Map is currently available for England and Wales with work already underway to create coverage for Scotland.