Oxfordshire Treescapes: Reporting Service

article written by Amy Ross, TVERC Biodiversity Data Assistant

If you’ve read our previous blog posts, you’ll know that TVERC has been working with Jamie Hartzell and Victoria McNamara from Grow Green Carbon to develop a method of selecting parcels of land that have the potential for treescapes without compromising their current land-use or biodiversity. Treescapes refers to trees in their many forms and densities. Areas are assessed for their potential to hold woodlands, hedgerows, agroforestry systems, and community orchards. Grasslands of high biodiversity importance have also been included.

Since our last update in November 2020, staff at TVERC have put in many hours of technical work for this project. Robbie Still our previous Interim Data Manager analysed and developed the data from TVERC’s geodatabase to create an initial dataset. Consulting with Jamie and Victoria, he developed a complex code that analyses which areas are suitable for which treescapes and how much benefit this may provide to an area based on specific targets and parameters.

The second phase of this project undertaken by TVERC has been to turn this data into something useful to advise people on the optimum tree-planting strategy for their land. Following consultations with landowners, Grow Green Carbon commissioned TVERC to develop a reporting service. Over the last six months, Amy Ross, Biodiversity Data Assistant, and Steve Wilkes, TVERC’s Director have been working together to develop this process. The reports give information on current land use, including areas populated by treescapes to show an overview of the current state of the land. It then combines this information with previous analytical work done to provide detailed maps on where treescapes could be planted. The data makes sure to exclude areas that treescapes would be unsuitable, such as areas of current wildlife value or archaeological importance. Finally, it provides maps and information on how these treescapes would provide specific benefits. The following benefits are mapped in the report but there are hopes to add more in the future:

1. Biodiversity uplift

2. Carbon capture and storage

3. Natural flood management

4. Air pollution reduction

5. Recreation and wellbeing

Currently there are two versions of the treescape reports available. A Parish report, aimed at parish councils and community groups, and a Landowner report, for individuals or farming clusters. These reports are now available through Oxfordshire Treescapes Project and they have also put together a helpful Treescapes Guide to help people understand the information contained in the reports. The placements of treescapes is an not exact science. However, the reports are designed to present the range of opportunities available, from which a more detailed targeted land management plan can be created. The hope is that these will inform and support landowners, land managers, and parish councils to plant more trees but in a way that enhances and is sympathetic to the current landscape and area.

Posted: January 14, 2022