In his message to nearly 400 delegates from 23 different countries, he said:
"Throughout the world, trees are a life-giving resource and, when you consider the rainforests – teeming with species often unknown to humanity – it is easy to see why. However, far too few people seem to consider the importance of trees within the urban environment.
"Urban forests provide us with numerous environmental, economic and social benefits and contribute enormously to the health and wellbeing of everyone who lives and works in the urban environment. They have a particularly vital role as part of the development of truly sustainable communities."
‘Trees, People and the Built Environment’, was hosted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters and developed through a partnership of relevant professional organisations.
HRH The Prince of Wales remarked on the significance of this partnership when he stated:
"Your conference is desperately important as it brings together, for the first time in Britain, all the relevant professional bodies concerned with trees, landscape and the built environment."
Pam Warhurst, chair of the Forestry Commission, stressed in her opening address the importance of promoting the public benefits of urban trees. She highlighted how the public had demonstrated its tremendous affection and protective instincts towards our rural forests in recent months and said the challenge now was to ensure this also embraced our urban forests.
Peter Head, a leader on Green Buildings and Infrastructure, gave a closing address in which he championed the role of trees and green infrastructure in the development of the sustainable cities around the world. In a stunning visual presentation he inspired delegates with animated images of city greening on a vast scale.The full conference proceedings will be published by the Forestry Commission shortly.