Barnet Council has approved a new tree planting policy that aims to plant 5,000 trees by 2028 as part of the council’s goal to become one of London’s most sustainable boroughs.
The policy was approved at the Environment and Climate Change Committee meeting held on 14 March. The council’s existing Tree Policy, which was adopted in 2017, set out tree planting targets to be achieved by 2023, and the new policy builds on the progress made under the existing policy.
Areas that could get new trees, often frequented by Harrow residents include – Burnt Oak, Colindale, Cricklewood, East Finchley, Edgware, Finchley Central and North Finchley, Golders Green, Hendon Central, Mill Hill and Whetstone.
The council’s new Tree Planting Policy aims to support the delivery of the council’s Sustainability Strategy targets, increase street tree canopy cover to improve ecosystem services, guarantee the replacement of every street tree that is removed, support and enhance opportunities for community engagement, preserve existing mature and maturing trees, and utilise new and improved methods of tree planting and aftercare.
The new policy also aligns with the council’s commitment to becoming a net zero council by 2030 and borough by no later than 2042, as part of its BarNET ZERO campaign.
Councillor Alan Schneiderman, Chair of the Barnet Council Climate and Change Committee, said, “The council’s new Tree Planting Policy is an essential step towards achieving our goal of becoming one of London’s most sustainable boroughs and includes a focus on areas of poor air quality.
“We recognise the need to work together to respond to the challenges of the climate and biodiversity emergency, to improve the health and wellbeing of our residents, and caring for the future of our planet.”
Barnet has over 52,000 individual trees within the borough, including London’s oldest tree in St Andrew’s Churchyard, which is 2,000 years old. The borough has a high level of canopy cover at 27%, higher than both the London and England averages. The new policy guarantees the replacement of every street tree that is removed, ensuring the preservation of Barnet’s urban forest.
The Tree Planting Policy includes a focus on improving ecosystem services and is based on research, evidence, stakeholder engagement, and consideration of national and regional policy.
Residents, businesses, and council staff are invited to join the BarNET ZERO campaign and learn more about the council’s actions towards becoming a net zero carbon borough. To read the new Tree Planting Policy and for more information on the BarNET ZERO campaign, visit https://engage.barnet.gov.uk/net-zero.