AN English town council has approved a new tree management policy with an emphasis on replacing every tree felled.

Bicester Town Council’s new policy sets out the council’s responsibilities as well as how it will care for its current stock and plans to increase the number of trees in the town.

The full document sets out the policy for all trees on council-owned land and the measures it will take to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the public and property.

No previous planting strategy had been drawn up for the council and new planting had been on a random basis.

But now the policy says that for every tree that is cut down, at least one tree must be planted in its place and should be properly cared for.

It states: "It is the Council's intention that every tree felled should be replaced to ensure that over the years the Town retains its tree stock for future generations, although it is recognised that it is not always practical or prudent to replace a tree in the same location or with the same species that was previously planted."

Environment committee chairman and town mayor, councillor Jason Slaymaker, said: “Trees are a highly valued feature in the Bicester landscape and are of immense environmental and aesthetic value to the town and its residents.

“Not only do trees act as the town’s lungs, they make a valuable contribution to wildlife, enrich biodiversity, and help limit noise pollution and improve air quality in the built-up areas of Bicester. So, developing this policy has been an important piece of work for the council.

“The new document not only sets out how we will care for our current tree stock, but also how we plan to increase the number of trees in the town for future generations.

"The tree management policy also formalises the council’s inspection programme to ensure trees in our ownership are maintained and are in a safe condition; and highlight where any work is required.

"This policy can only be good news for Bicester and its residents.”

View the policy at

This story first appeared in the Oxford Mail.

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