POST Online Media Lite Edition


London's pollution-busting trees valued at £6.1 billion

Staff writer |
London's eight million trees are worth a staggering £6.1 billion to the capital and contribute £130 million in wider benefits, a new survey shows.

Article continues below

The iTree urban forest survey used over 300 volunteers to analyse and count trees on the services they provide from the carbon they store, the pollution they remove, and rainwater they hold. Trees play a huge role in improving air quality and remove 299 tonnes of PM10 and 698 tonnes of NO2 pollution across London annually.

Today as part of his wider work to make the city greener the Mayor has announced a new partnership with Unilever which will deliver 40,000 new trees.

20,000 will be offered to London's schools and 20,000 will create a new urban woodland in West London. Hundreds of volunteers rolled up their sleeves in Ealing today to start planting some of the new woodland forest in Southall.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has already supported the planting of nearly half a million trees in London including 20,000 street trees along some of the busiest roads.

Ealing tree planting took place at the 29.5 acre King George's Field, which is set to be transformed into native woodland habitat with thousands of whips and fruit trees. Hundreds of volunteers joined the planting, which was organised by Trees for Cities, including Deputy Mayor Roger Evans.

The i-Tree survey, produced by the Mayor of London and The Forestry Commission and sponsored by Unilever, is a recognised method of valuing the benefits that trees provide that people often take for granted.

Key services London's trees provide include:

storm water alleviation = 3,414,000m3 per annum worth £2.8 million
carbon storage = 2,367,000t per annum worth £146.9 million
pollution removal = 2241t per annum worth £126.1 million
It would cost £6.1 billion to replace all of London's tree canopy

What to read next

WHO: Air pollution behind one in eight deaths
Auditor says $2.6bn environment funds in China not effectively used
Air pollution deaths cost global economy $225 billion