Trees conference hears call to promote city greening

Last week's urban tree conference, the largest for a decade, was a rallying call for co-operation across professions and industries to promote the greening of towns and cities, according to its organiser.

The Urban Trees Research Conference, held on Wednesday and Thursday last week in Birmingham, brought together almost 400 professionals from a range of disciplines and regions.

According to Shireen Chambers, executive director of conference organiser the Institute of Chartered Foresters: "We were delighted with the variety of delegates as well as the number - it was very international.

"As an industry we spend too long talking to ourselves, but this event involved planners, landscape architects and Government agencies, not just as delegates but chairing sessions, giving them ownership of topics.

"The message now is that we should continue this dialogue with those professions. It's only by acting together that we will change anything."

HRH the Prince of Wales had planned to deliver the keynote speech, but was unable to attend. In his absence, his address was read by conference chairman Dr Mark Johnston of Myerscough College.

In his speech, Prince Charles explained that trees had been considered an integral part of developments he had championed at Poundbury in Dorset and Newquay in Cornwall.

The proceedings of the conference will be made available through the institute's website.

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