Why should the UK double tree cover?
Trees play an incredible role in combating climate chaos by removing harmful emissions. They mitigate extreme heat and are very valuable flood defences, providing a regulation service worth hundreds of millions every year. And they're good for mental health and wellbeing too.
Despite their importance, just 12.8% of land area in England, close to 20% in Wales and Scotland, and less than 10% in Northern Ireland has tree cover (compared with around 40% in the EU).
We believe one of the best solutions to protect our environment and achieve net zero is to plant more trees – including more street trees, forests and hedgerows. But government targets currently fall well short.
Trees in England
Enter your postcode to search for trees in your area and where to plant them near you.
This map displays the most accurate and readily available data on tree cover in England. It highlights how deprived of tree cover many areas are, and how unequal access to trees is. 43% of neighbourhoods have less than 10% tree cover, and 84% have less than 20%. The data also reveals that lower income neighbourhoods are much more deprived of tree cover than wealthier ones, especially in rural areas. Find out more about our trees map.
Inspired by trees?
Where should we plant trees?
Friends of the Earth wants to double UK tree cover – including more forests, hedgerows and street trees – in order to tackle the climate emergency and make more space for nature.
But is there really space in the UK to double tree cover? And where’s best to grow all those trees?
Not only does our trees map identify existing cover in England, but it also shows the areas our experts think could be prioritised for new woodland creation.
City trees are cool
Trees and green spaces in towns and cities have a cooling effect, bringing down night time temperatures by up to 5°C.
Our heatmaps show large cooling zones where leafy suburbs, parks, golf courses and tree-lined riverbanks are close together. But even a few mature street trees create cool spots to benefit the buildings around them.
We're calling on the government to increase tree cover in urban areas to 20% as part of their upcoming Urban Tree Standard.
Protect trees where you live
The right trees, in the right places, can help combat climate breakdown and restore nature.
But trees, especially in towns and cities, are under constant threat from the pressures of development. The good news is, there are several things you can do to protect and save the trees in your area that matter to you.