County Durham has more woodland areas and tree cover than UK average

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A recent study carried out by mapping experts Terra Sulis, on behalf of Friends of the Earth, has found that nearly half of English neighbourhoods have less than 10% tree cover, with County Durham having 2% more trees than average.

England’s tree cover is just 12.8%, however the tree cover of County Durham has reached around 15%, making it one of the stronger areas by local authority.

The analysis, carried out on behalf of Friends of the Earth by mapping experts Terra Sulis, has for the first time identified lone trees and street trees in England using laser imaging, bolstering previous research that accounted only for trees in woodlands and those clustered in smaller groups.

Friends of the Earth said trees were not just important as carbon sinks to reach net zero, but they also had crucial benefits for humans, particularly in urban areas. They provide cooling in cities when water evaporates from their leaves, for example.

England’s tree cover is just 12.8%, however the tree cover of County Durham has reached around 15%

Further analysis from Friends of the Earth has found that County Durham has the seventh greatest potential for woodland expansion.

The study details that the county has 38,000 hectares of woodland opportunity, spanning 17% of the Durham area.

The benefits of this are huge, with the organisation suggesting that if the individual local authorities studied, including County Durham, were able to capitalise on their research, we could see a staggering increase in biodiversity.

Likewise, the benefits of woodland areas for residents of County Durham are large. The Woodlands Trust suggests that woodland areas can be “beneficial for the physical and mental wellbeing” of all residents, as well as the upkeep of the local wildlife.

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