THE results of an extensive study of the trees across Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry has revealed their value to be around £47.9 billion.

Led by Treeconomics, which was commissioned by WMCA, the study showed the trees in the area are encouragingly healthy, with 82 per cent being in either ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ condition. However, the region has relatively low canopy cover in comparison to other areas.

This was one of the largest studies of its kind, covering over 1,000 sample plots and almost three million trees. It engaged over 100 volunteers, teams of surveyors, plus countless members of the public who granted access to their properties over the summer. The study included both public and privately-owned trees which enabled a detailed picture to be provided. Results show that the region has a tree population of around 2,970,000 which would cost around £1.85 billion to replace. This is equivalent to nearly 1.7 trees per person.

A key feature of the study was the measurement of the benefits the trees are delivering, with many of these being expressed in economic terms. It is calculated that the trees in the region are removing 144 tonnes of air-borne pollutants annually, a service valued at £11 million, and over 33,000 tonnes of carbon, valued at over £32 million per year. They are also diverting 936,000 cubic metres of stormwater away from local sewers each year, which is worth an estimated £1.5 million in avoided treatment costs.

Cllr John Cotton, WMCA portfolio lead for environment and energy, and leader of Birmingham City Council, said: “We will use these findings to make valuable decisions about the region’s green infrastructure, helping to ensure these resources are valued and maintained for the benefit of future generations.”