Reading Borough Council is planning to begin a consultation with the public on its draft tree strategy, if cabinet members approve the document.
The draft tree strategy document sets out three main elements:
- Retaining and protecting existing trees with high amenity value in a
- Managing and maintaining the existing tree stock
- Facilitating, encouraging and engaging in the planting of new trees
However, it notes that because of the age of much of the existing tree stock, "large numbers of trees could need to be removed in a relatively short space of time in the next few years, severely affecting the character and appearance of large parts of the town. Street trees in particular, will have to be removed in increasing numbers for safety reasons."
The council aims to reverse this trend, as well as increasing canopy cover by 10% by 2020.
The document notes that the council will not have the budgets available to plant new trees in the numbers needed to replace older specimens, or to help in climate change adaptation.
It therefore concludes that alternative sources of funding must be pursued to meet the aims of the strategy.
It is anticipated the final tree strategy will be complete by this summer.
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