"Penarth wants more trees", says Civic Society survey

  Posted: 20.06.21 at 14:48 by Anne Evans - Penarth Civic Society

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This article was Nubbed by Penarth Civic Society Chair Anne Evans.

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You may be aware of the recent survey conducted by the Penarth Tree Forum (PTF), part of the Penarth Civic Society. 170 people completed the online survey in April/May 2021.

114 respondents (67%) were aware of the trees newly-planted by the Vale of Glamorgan Council in open spaces throughout the town.

The PTF has a Tree Volunteer Scheme where volunteers are helping the Vale’s staff look after these trees.

32 respondents stated that they had already joined this scheme and another 40 were willing to sign up. 74% agreed or strongly agreed that this scheme would encourage a sense of community in the town.

90% of all respondents strongly agreed or agreed that Penarth should aim for Woodland Town Status which would mean an increase in the amount of tree cover in the town.

When specifically asked if they thought the Council should plant more street trees, 68% strongly agreed and 21% agreed.

Only seven people disagreed. 81 respondents would be prepared to help fund new trees and 52 answered ‘maybe’ to that question.

A number of Councils throughout Britain now have a scheme for people to help fund tree planting. Only a handful of people did not want more trees.

The survey asked why people liked trees - 84% agreed with the statement that ‘trees help your mental well-being’.

Typical comments were ‘Trees bring wildlife. This is all beneficial to mental health’ and ‘Green, calm, wildlife, change with the seasons, trees become part of our communities.’

One person stated that ‘I see these as an essential part of the urban landscape, mitigating the impacts of housing, parked vehicles and moving traffic, apart from the defined objectives of reducing harmful emissions.’

Those responding had mixed views about street trees – some pointed out that the roots can damage pavements if they are not properly looked after.

Most people wanted street trees replaced in the same place they were removed from, although a few wanted the opposite.

Lots of people had suggestions as to where future trees could be planted and these suggestions will be shared with the Vale Council. A significant number commented that they wanted the town to remain the ‘Garden by the Sea’ and that more tree planting, and specifically the replacement of lost street trees, was essential.

PTF was very pleased with the response to the survey which overall shows how much people care about the about the town being green, and how valuable trees are to this.

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