i-Tree Bridgend

Case Study

Client:
Forestry Commission and Bridgend County Council

Brief:
To undertake the field work for an i-Tree Eco urban forest survey

Details: 

In 2014, Forest Research’s Land Regeneration and Urban Greenspace Research Group worked in partnership with Bridgend County Borough Council and Natural Resources Wales to complete a survey of the urban forest of Bridgend County Borough.  The aim of the project was to measure the natural capital of urban trees and value the ecosystem services that they provide.

We delivered the fieldwork element of the study, conducting a survey of 200 randomly selected plots across the borough and submitting the audited results to Forest Research for analysis.  Our team of six surveyors completed the surveys over a six week period and delivered the required data to the client on time and within budget.

The survey presented numerous challenges, as many of the randomly selected sample plots were in awkward to access sites across both public and privately owned land.  However, we found that this gave us a unique opportunity to talk about the project and benefits of urban trees with a wide range of people, which was rewarding in itself!

The research found that Bridgend’s urban trees provide £950,000 of ecosystem services each year.  These include: carbon capture, rainwater interception and the removal of air pollution.  A key finding of the study was that mature, large stature trees, such as limes, oaks and pines, which provide more ecosystem services per than small stature tree species, were generally lacking across the county borough. A long-term strategy to conserve the current stock of young large stature trees is required to improve the overall age and size structure of Bridgend CB’s urban forest.

The full report can be downloaded here.