Trees are utterly essential for human life. There are many quoted reasons for having trees in towns including landscape benefit, nature conservation, provision of shelter and encouraging investment in business. But more importantly, they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. It is trees that keep us alive.
In 2013 Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council published its strategy for the Newcastle Urban Forest. We are working to improve and increase the forest area of the Borough, to reap rewards in terms of a richer and more valuable living space. Intensive management of the urban forest will create an environment for future generations of which we can all be proud.
The strategy recognises the long-term nature of tree management, with targets up to the year 2050 and a programme of long and short-term targets to achieve our goals.
Trees are living plants. They grow, they mature, they become sick and they die. When trees start to decline they become a risk. Trees within the built environment have many pressures to cope with including reduced rooting space, vandalism, changed local climates, greater susceptibility to disease and, generally, shorter life expectancies.
Management is targeted to areas of greater risk, for example where trees are next to houses, roads and play areas. Those who live closest to trees experience problems that the majority of people do not appreciate in terms of reduced sunlight and overhanging branches and our management aims to reduce the severity of such issues wherever practical.
There are many landowners, including householders, who own trees in the Borough, and who are responsible for maintaining them. Three major landowners are: Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Staffordshire County Council and Aspire Housing .
Trees owned by Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council are managed by our Streetscene service. Streetscene are responsible for trees on all sites, from cemeteries and closed churchyards, to parks, gardens, woodlands, public open spaces and some country parks.
Trees within the adopted highway areas, roads, pavements, education and school sites, libraries, social services sites and some country parks are maintained by Staffordshire County Council.
Aspire Housing Ltd are responsible for the maintenance of trees on many open spaces within their estates.
Quite apart from managing its own trees Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council undertakes other functions in terms of tree protection under the Town and Country Planning Act, with reference to Tree Preservation Orders and Trees within Conservation Areas, oversees the protection of trees through the development control process with reference to planning applications, can advise on tree issues, particularly with reference to suspected dangerous trees in private ownership, and administers and adjudicates in issues relating to the High Hedges Act.
For further information on any specific issues relating to trees please see the links in the panel on the right.
Last updated 25 July 2016