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Epsom & Ewell Borough Council
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Trees form the living umbrella over our streets, parks and gardens which define the character of urban form. They provide many environmental and social benefits to our community. The key benefits are outlined below.

Social and Environmental benefits of trees:

  • removing carbon dioxide
  • improving our health by improving air quality
  • improving the quality of life for people by improving the visual quality of the landscape
  • supporting and enhancing biodiversity
  • providing opportunities for recreation
  • a renewable source of energy.

Carbon Sequestration

Trees are carbon sinks. They remove carbon dioxide (CO2) and store this in the cellulose of woody tissue.  CO2 is responsible for about half the Greenhouse Gasses that lead to global warming.

Removal of other air pollution

Trees also remove other major air pollutants including sulphur dioxide, ozone, nitrogen oxides and particulates that cause respiratory problems.

Did you know that a well-treed street landscape can reduce up to 60% of particulates in the streets?

Oxygen Production

Trees release oxygen into the atmosphere as part of their photosynthesis process.

Did you know that a single mature tree can release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings?

Shade and Shelter

Transpiration and shading reduces the heat island effect.  Trees provide shade from the suns ultraviolet rays (UV).  Children’s skin is more sensitive to UV damage and the amount of sun exposure during childhood is thought to increase the risk of developing skin cancer in adult life.  A safe umbrella of trees is particularly useful in sschool grounds and where children play.

Trees provide shelter from winds and can reduce the demand for heating.

Landscape Values

Leafy neighbourhoods improve the well being of a community.  Trees create a landscape which is attractive to industry and commerce and positively contribute towards an environment where people want to live and work.

Trees enhance views
  • They help to define character and promote a sense of place
  • Trees add colour and seasonal interest
  • They provide screening and privacy
  • Trees soften hard surfaces.

Studies have shown that people find houses with mature landscaped gardens and properties on tree lined avenues more attractive places to live.  They also tend to attract a higher market value.


Biodiversity is the interaction between the variety of plants, animals and habitats.  Trees provide a natural habitat that supports a wide variety of wildlife flora and fauna.

Did you know that on a European level, Britain is unusual as it has a large population of veteran trees?  These provide a home for a host of rare and endangered invertebrates.


Woodlands provide a great setting for recreational activity such as walking, mountain biking and other pursuits.  Forestry Commission surveys indicate that there are more than 350 million recreational visits per year to forests and woodlands in Britain.


Wood and biomass products, such as wood chips, provide a renewable source of energy.  There is no net carbon increase into the atmosphere from burning wood as fuel.

Did you know that some wood burning stoves are more fuel efficient than power stations?

page updated: Saturday, 31 August 2013 © Epsom & Ewell Borough Council 2014