iTree Eco 6: Quantify & Value Your Trees

Background to iTree Eco

iTree Eco has been widely and successfully used in the USA and is a robust valuation model for the range of environmental services provided by trees. In Britain, it was first used in Torbay in 2011, with its application quickly widening and informing tree care budgets and investment decisions in cities including Edinburgh, Glasgow and most recently, London.

iTree  Eco North Somerset

North Somerset Council commissioned the Forest of Avon Trust (FoA Trust) to deliver second iTree Eco survey and the first to use volunteers for data collection in 2013. This involved a core group of 12 volunteers surveying 169 randomly generated plots across the authority. A detailed report set out a number of important findings including that North Somerset’s trees remove harmful pollutants (CO, NO2, O3, PM10, PM2.5, SO2), with an annual average value of £1,703,650: a significant contribution to the quality of life of residents.  

The North Somerset iTree Eco study has helped make a strong case for tree care budgets at a time of significant funding cuts in North Somerset. It also provided a highly effective way for the Council to engage and galvanise local people in taking practical action to care for it’s trees.  

iTree Scope & Costs

The latest version of iTree (6) generates an even wider range of data on the environmental services provided by an area’s tree and also information on tree health and predicted responses to pests and climate change.

For local authorities iTree Eco 6 can inform decision making and financial planning at a time growing pressure on budgets and also Government requirements to manage NOx and other pollutants. It also provide a positive and effective way to engage and involve local people. For utilities, iTree Eco 6 can also further quantify the sustainability of their estate.

Forest of Avon Trust iTree Eco 6 Service:    

Based on our experience of delivering iTree North Somerset, we would suggest a 12 month project with 200 randomly generated plots being surveyed when trees are in leaf, volunteers working in pairs and data being progressively being entered in to the iTree model.

In delivering this, the Trust would: 

1.      Co-ordinate all aspects of the iTree ABCDE project (the project) working closely with project partners;

2.      Recruit, train and support volunteers to effectively deliver the project;

3.      Work with staff to support them in inputting data in to the iTree Eco model;

4.      Support ABCDE in promoting findings to diverse audiences locally, regionally and nationally.

Total Cost: £X.

Cost Assumptions ABCDE would:

5.      Use its GIS to randomly generate and produce mapping for 200 survey plots;

6.      Hold iTree 6 and enter data in to this (something a trainee/ apprentice could do);

7.      Provide details of potential volunteers and not charge for use of its sites/ venues for training.

A detailed proposal and cost breakdown can be provided as required.

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