Measuring the Ecosystem Services of Torbay’s Trees – The Torbay Treeconomics / i-Tree Eco Pilot Project
- K. Rogers (Treeconomics/Hi-line Consultancy)
- D.Hansford (Hi-line Consultancy)
- A. Brunt (Forest Research)
- T. Sunderland (Natural England)
- Neil Coish (Principal Arboricultural Officer / Torbay Council)
The first results are in and very powerful they are too!
We are the first in the UK to use the i-Tree Eco software, which calculates the economic worth of trees based on both their structural value and the ecosystem services that they provide. The system uses information gathered in the field to calculate the contribution of trees towards air quality improvement, and climate change adaptation, assigning a monetary value to these contributions.
The Treeconomics team has piloted the i-Tree Eco modeling software and results are now available from the first UK study. Thanks to the assistance of Forest Research, Torbay Council and the kind co-operation of Natural England, the borough of Torbay covering approximately 63.75 km2, including the towns of Brixham and Paignton, was made available for survey. The results demonstrate that the tree stocks of even a medium-sized local authority can represent a significant structural and environmental asset.
The findings of the pilot project indicate that Torbay contains approximately 818,000 trees, 28.9% of which are under public ownership. The trees store 98,100 tons of carbon and sequester a further 4,279 tons each year. They also remove 50 tons of pollutants from the atmosphere each year, a service with an estimated value of £281,000. Probably the most interesting figure to come out of the study is that for the structural value of the Torbay tree stocks, which has been calculated at a remarkable £280 Million.