Clive Stevens who is chair of our local Neighbourhood Partnership and chair of the Bristol Tree Forum is now our official ‘Tree Champion’, voted in to this unpaid post by the Neighbourhood Partnership.His role is to both help save our local urban trees and to get more trees planted (see a report elsewhere on this website of the recent Bristol Tree Forum talk on 'City Trees and Public Health').
A council survey has shown, perhaps surprisingly, that Bishopston has a low tree coverage compared with most other areas of Bristol. Westbury-on-Trym for example has 20% tree cover, while Bishopston has only 11%. Two significant effects of this difference between Bishopston and leafier areas could be that firstly our local temperature becomes a degree or two higher in a heat-wave and secondly that we just suffer from less adsorption of traffic pollutants. However, in our Neighbourhood Partnership area, Bishopston streets are more spacious than some areas of Bristol, so we have the potential therefore for planting plenty more trees. With regard to new planting locations, Clive estimates there are twice as many planting opportunities in Bishopston (including some parts of Redland ward) as there are for Redland and Cotham combined. The Council has received our N.P.’s first attempt to identify some locations. Hopefully we will be left with some choice of sites to progress after the services (gas, water etc) searches and Highways Dept. have checked sight lines and safety. An initial rough estimate of new tree sites for the Bishopston area totals between 5-15. Additionally the Gloucester Rd Improvement Task Group with Liz Kew has identified the need for improvement of the trees along the promenade as a priority.
If the Memorial Ground development goes ahead, then Sainsbury's will be planting around 70 new trees, although 22 existing trees will need to be removed. This would increase the canopy cover of the site from its present 2-3% to around 11%. The recently granted Gloucester County cricket ground development will have an avenue of Norway Maples planted as part of the development.
Although the Council has decided to withdraw from the Big Tree Plant because the average price they would have got per tree created more liabilities than benefit if they won the grant, we are expecting money from many other sources as well as asking residents and shopkeepers to assist.
Where trees are involved in full planning applications, the Council has come up with and adopted in 2011, a “Tree Replacement Standard”. So now if a developer wishes to fell a big tree he/she may need to plant 6 replacements not just 1. The calculation depends on the girth of the tree they wish to fell. And if they can’t plant enough replacements on their site they have to pay the council money (via a S106 agreement) to plant public trees. In Redland they now have £4,500 from an agreement like this for tree planting.
If you have any suggestions for tree planting in the Bishopston area, please contact Clive at: