As the Woodland Trust points out, trees are critical for the future of the planet and for our own wellbeing, health and happiness. The protection of existing trees alongside an aim to increase tree coverage in the Parish was a core objective of the Cam Neighbourhood Plan, a large village and parish in Stroud District.

The network of woodland, trees and hedgerows in Cam make an important contribution to the distinct character of the rapidly growing village.

Trees provide an important backdrop to the village but they also mark gateways, landmarks and define key spaces and routes. Trees make a key contribution to the distinctiveness and quality of Cam as a place to live.

Together with the Steering Group we established a strong evidence base underpinned a planning policy on trees and woodland, with the aim of:

– retaining existing trees where possible

– where trees are lost, replacing trees with regard to the species and age of the loss of tree – not simply a one for one replacement

– integrating new trees as key placemaking features

The evidence base demonstrating the role and importance of trees is set out in the Cam Design Code (click here to read more), which contains detailed guidance for trees in the Parish, from design approach to species selection, to planting and maintenance. It also draws on the Bristol Tree Replacement Standard (BTRS) to inform how decisions are made on replacement trees – this sets out a clear approach to determining the number of replacement trees in relation to trees lost. This clear approach can be applied in locations other than Bristol to inform a discussion on how lost trees are replaced.

In Cam we used an interesting tool called itree to calculate the current tree canopy coverage in the village. The Parish are now aiming to use this baseline information to measure their aspiration to increase tree coverage over the next 1o years.

Find out more

Cam Parish Neighbourhood Plan webpages

The Bristol Tree Replacement Standard on the Bristol Tree Forum website

The Woodland Trust highlights the importance of trees and has guidance and advice on how to protect trees and woodlands in your community