Trees are a key component of green infrastructure in urban and rural areas. As such they help maintain quality of life, preserve biodiversity and are an important factor in adaptation to climate change. However, in many parts of Europe, trees have been poorly managed, particularly isolated trees and tree lines (?alleys?) both in towns and in the countryside, along watercourses, resulting in loss of the green infrastructure .
There is an urgent need for the definition of appropriate standards and good practices in tree care and their adoption by institutions and individuals responsible for managing green infrastructure.
The project proposes a cohesive and multifaceted educational and informational campaign designed to conserve trees and support the development of green infrastructure. This will focus on three specific objectives: Developing tree management standards and good practices and disseminating them to local planning departments (both urban and rural) and landscape architects. This will improve enforcement of legal requirements with regard to the preservation of trees and the management of green infrastructure, as well as indicating where better regulation is possible; Creating a network of trained ?tree advocates? under the umbrella ?Friends of the Trees?. These volunteer advocates will participate in planning meetings to ensure the importance of trees is recognised in local development decisions and to win public support for preserving trees. The project will also raise awareness of the importance of trees among private landowners in both urban and rural areas; and Raising the status of trees as part of green infrastructure in Europe, and disseminating best practice in tree management. This will involve transnational partnership working and networking across the EU, including lobbying the European institutions to recognise trees as a key part of the EU?s green infrastructure.
Expected results: The project expects to achieve the following results: Involve at least 1 500 members, planners and architects in project activities; Draw up standards and good practices on managing trees as a key component of green infrastructure in five priority areas. These proposals will be subject to stakeholder review before wider dissemination among the target audience; Enable at least 30% of project participants to have better knowledge of the important role of trees in green infrastructure; Encourage at least 20 institutions in Poland to implement IT tools for tree management; Reach 2 million members of the general public with the message that trees are an important part of green infrastructure; Hold at least 100 media events; Improve by at least 40% the capacity of Polish and German ?Friends of the Trees? to act as tree advocates; Make at least 150 key decision-makers in four European countries other than Germany and Poland aware of the importance of trees to green infrastructure and of best practices in managing trees; Ensure that at least 10 national/European regulations or strategy documents recognise or reinforce the importance of trees to green infrastructure; and Facilitate the launch of initiatives to improve the functioning of trees in green infrastructure in three European countries other than Poland and Germany.