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75% of city dwellers ‘want more access to greenspace’

Almost three quarters of city dwellers want access to greenspace or parkland within walking distance from their home, a new survey suggests.

Some 78% believe that trees are essential for relaxing and making them feeling happier, while a similar percentage cited their importance for health and removing air pollution.

The survey was commissioned by the Woodland Trust and comes as it launches a nationwide ‘neighbourhood watch scheme’ for trees – to inspire city people to value and protect the natural wonders on their doorstep.

Some 77% strongly agreed that they would miss trees and green spaces if they didn’t see them in their local urban area, so protecting what we already have is vital whereas 80% said that trees and woods give colour and texture to cities and towns.

A further 51% said they would be extremely concerned and want to do something about it if street trees were removed.

Joseph Coles, Project Lead for Street Trees, said the scheme, which is funded by a £500,000 boost from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, aims to rally people to look after threatened trees on their doorstep.

A recent report showed councils are felling more than 50 trees a day nationwide.

Coles said: “Street trees face unprecedented threats. Be it climate change, tree disease, development or council budgets. With 80% of the UK’s people living in urban settlements, street trees are their main daily contact with nature. If we are to keep people connected with nature we need to preserve it on their doorsteps.

“We need to encourage people to celebrate trees, whatever their drive might be – social cohesion, economic benefits, sentimental or simply because a tree looks nice. People need to demand that their trees are respected and protected.”

 

About Shekina Tuahene

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