The huge value of trees standing alone and in small groups in the UK has been revealed in a new groundbreaking study published by Forest Research and Defra. The Valuing Non-woodland Trees report found they provide billions of pounds worth of benefits to people every year. The trees capture climate-heating CO2, reduce toxic air pollution and slow the flow of rainwater, cutting flood risks.

Trees outside woodlands are defined as single trees in urban and rural areas and are some of the most iconic trees in our landscape, ranging from the classic, spreading hedgerow to the single trees lining our streets, making up almost a quarter of trees in Great Britain.

The valuation is based on the important role they play in sequestering and storing carbon, regulating temperatures, strengthening flood resilience and reducing noise and air pollution. Together, these help to mitigate against climate change, reducing damage to infrastructure and people from the impact of flooding, cooling our cities in summer and improving health and wellbeing.

This project aimed to provide the first estimate of the economic value of non-woodland trees (also called trees outside woodlands) in the UK. The valuation will be useful to policymakers in considering where to allocate resources, in making decisions, and in the preparation of future policies.