Gardens help towns and cities beat countryside for tree cover

A tree-lined street in Camden, north London

Urban areas are not all high-rise flats and offices, they are also where you’ll find many of the country’s trees. 

Two London boroughs – Camden and Croydon – were among the top 20 places in England and Wales with the most tree cover, a research project has found.

Meanwhile largely rural areas had some of the least – including part of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales.

Garden trees are boosting numbers in towns, while farming helps explain some of the low rural rankings.

Bluesky International, an aerial survey company who carried out the work with the help of mapping specialist Esri UK, say they have detected around 400 million trees so far – but there are still more to find.

Most trees are clustered in the south

In Camden and Croydon almost a third of the borough is covered in trees. Croydon has several areas of woodland and Camden includes Hampstead Heath and Primrose Hill.

But when the data is mapped you can see the distinct pattern of tree lined streets and trees in gardens that help push up the percentage.

Surrey Heath has the largest percentage of trees.

But the area “has seen quite a recent transformation,” John Tucker from the Woodland Trust says.

“If you look back 60, 80, 100 years a lot of this area was open heathland and would have been managed and grazed.”

But as livestock farming became less economical the area has returned to

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