SHEFFIELD has become the first local authority to be awarded a certificate of compliance for managing its street trees sustainably under new criteria. 

The city council was recognised by the PEFC UK (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) following an 18-month project, which saw a standard of certification for Trees Outside Forests (TOF) developed alongside the governing body and partners. 

Until recently only forests and woodlands could be certified by PEFC standards as proof of being managed sustainably. However, a change saw PEFC UK create an appendix to its UK-endorsed forest certification scheme, UKWAS (UK Woodland Assurance Standard), to allow for TOF to also be certified.

READ MORE: Stihl Pro press event: Spotlight shines on MSA 300, MS 881 and Smart Connector 2 A

As the first city in Europe to be given the prestigious gong, it’s hoped the new process will be endorsed worldwide by this time next year. 

Alun Watkins, who heads up PEFC in the UK, said: “We are delighted that Sheffield has become the first city in Europe to be audited against our new TOF criteria. 

@forestryjournal 🔥🔥🔥#stihl #stihlchainsaw #stihltimbersports #chainsaw #forestrylife #forestry #arb ♬ original sound - Forestry Journal

“Their participation will help us fine-tune the standard, before it is submitted to PEFC International later this year for endorsement. We expect the Trees Outside Forests standard to be fully endorsed by spring 2023 and look forward to Sheffield being awarded the first ever certificate for sustainably managing its street trees.”