Benefits from trees in Slough

Trees and woodland provide a number of benefits to society, which are termed ecosystem services. These benefits include the capture and storage of carbon, rainfall interception, shading and many others. Ecosystem services are provided for free by nature, but it is possible to assign an economic value to each service through calculating the cost of providing that benefit in another way.

Slough Borough Council is currently preparing its Local Plan.  As part of this work, the Council is assembling supporting information and evidence to support policies in that Plan.  To be able to understand the contribution of trees in both the public and private realms to supporting a vibrant and healthy community and economy, Slough Borough Council requires information about the estimated coverage of trees in the Borough and to quantify the benefits they provide.

 A recent analysis by TVERC estimated the tree canopy cover and this was used to estimate the annual benefits of trees to the residents and business of Slough. Using two different approaches (i-Tree Canopy Tool and the creation of canopy height models from LiDAR data), TVERC estimated tree canopy cover of 12- 17%. This tree cover provides annual benefits of up to £380,000 to the residents and businesses of Slough.

Slough will use this valuation to write policies to protect and enhance trees and the benefits that they supply.