The 15 Birmingham neighbourhoods with the fewest trees

We’ve had a look at the 15 Birmingham neighbourhoods with the lowest tree cover in the city

England’s “woefully inadequate” tree planting targets must double by 2050 to help tackle the climate crisis, with a focus on planting in the most deprived parts of the country, a new report has warned.

Analysis by charity Friends of the Earth shows just 12.8% of England is currently covered by trees, with woodland areas covering 10% – far lower than the 38% of land that is covered by woodland in the European Union. The charity says the government’s existing goal for boosting tree numbers would see tree cover rise to just 16.5% by 2050 – still significantly lower than average levels across the EU.

The campaigners said a more “ambitious” target is needed to boost tree numbers, which would benefit the interlinked climate, nature and public health crises. It also claimed it would stop reliance on timber and wood imports from the likes of Russia and China, which have a “devastating” impact on the environment.

Poorer communities are much more likely than wealthier ones to be missing out on the advantages brought by trees, the charity said, which can include temperature regulation during heatwaves, better air quality through filtering pollution, and improved mental health.

The analysis highlighted the wide geographical imbalances in tree coverage, with poorer communities missing out. Overall, almost half (43%) of neighbourhoods in England have less than 10% tree canopy cover. South Holland in Lincolnshire was found to have the lowest tree cover in the country at only 2.2%, while Surrey Heath in Surrey ranked the highest with 36.1%.

The charity said the government should prioritise tree planting in deprived areas after the study revealed the poorest neighbourhoods in England had significantly fewer trees than in wealthier communities, based on analysis using the Office for National Statistics (ONS) rankings of deprivation. Tree cover stood at just 9.5% in the neighbourhoods that ranked among England’s bottom 10% most deprived, rising to 17.5% in the least deprived areas.

With this is mind, we’ve had a look at the 15 Birmingham neighbourhoods with the lowest tree cover in the city.

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