Praise for study using i-Tree to put value on highway trees

Hailed as a world first, an ecosystem evaluation of highway trees on a road network was commended at a road industry awards ceremony last month.

Image: Rob Gallop
Image: Rob Gallop

The report was commissioned by EM Highway Services and carried out using i-Tree Eco software by Evans Associates and Treeconomics, with support from Davey Tree Expert Company and Forest Research.

Judges at the CIHT (Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation) Awards said: "This blend of local knowledge and world-renowned expertise has facilitated the sharing of ideas and ensured that the project was delivered to programme and budget.

"The detailed information enables planting and maintenance strategies to be planned and evaluated to improve the highway environment."

It demonstrated that the benefit of the natural capital in just the West Country (known as Area 1 of the highways network) provides £794,000 of environmental services each year.

Treeconomics manager Kenton Rogers said: "The value of trees within the strategic road network has long been recognised, but it's only now that we have been able to quantify these benefits.

"This study is just the start, as we hope to continue to work with Highways England to further improve the model and roll out similar surveys to other areas."

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