Trees, Green Space and Bridges – Barry Otley

Barry Otley, a key member of Treemendous York and Green Environment coordinator for York Environment Forum, attended a number of the recent workshops we ran on various subjects and contributed a detailed response which spelt out the benefits of incorporating trees and substantial landscaping into the proposals. This blog sets out Barry’s advice and provides links to the references he used.

Over to Barry…

We must mitigate for trees taken out and create green spaces.

Important – A new study looks at the role of vegetation in removing air pollutants, and the benefits they provide to human health through reductions in exposure. The Office for National Statistics has published an online interactive map, allowing users to find out how much pollution is removed by vegetation in their area, and how this is valued in avoided health damage costs. An estimated 1.4 billion kg of air pollutants were removed by woodlands, plants, grassland and other UK vegetation in 2015, according to a study produced for the UK Natural Capital accounts by the Center for Ecology and Hydrology. Link to report and interactive map here.

The Forestry Commission has set out a clear case for the value of trees – the case for trees and the health benefits of street trees.

Piccadilly –  Stop parking at both sides of the road, this will create spaces for several trees in the road, it will also slow traffic and at each space potentially create a mini island and crossing place for people. To overcome underground services problems, there are solutions  – Trees in Hard Landscapes: A Guide for Delivery  Also when Spark area development takes place build into design a green space area.

Bridge from Eye of York to Piccadilly – open up and add green space, Cleary signed it will make a feature, an excellent viewing platform up the Foss and seating area (see Millennium bridge).

River Foss rear side buildings of Piccadilly–  It’s a concrete jungle effect, Green up the retaining developers walls that hold back the river.

Eye of York– why cannot we have a group (3) say pillar tree species opposite Tower Street in the grass, they have at the entrance to current car park.

Tower Street – Stop any parking on the roadside and create 2 spaces for a Pillar trees in the centre of road and create a crossing place- see Piccadilly.

The Foss basin and entrance to St Georges carpark

Widen Cycle path to Blue Bridge /Tree and hedge area – more green space. Green Space opportunity  near new car park building.

Multi-Story car park, it’s critical it has green walls on all sides and a good maintenance method and responsibility of it, M&S have, otherwise it will look like a concrete jungle- maybe reduce height, we are trying to reduce traffic. Why cannot the EA concrete building be greener to soften the impact?. Steps and lift?- Electric charging points.

Review trees to be take out. Loss of mature tree canopy should be avoided if possible. Info on tree canopy and air quality here and here and here.

Fishergate– An opportunity for a Pillar tree in the centre road dividing area.

Also for one Pillar tree near the Traffic lights were there is a polyanthus bed. An existing tree example is at the end of Piccadilly near Travel Lodge hotel.

New bridge over Foss -Tower Street

A great foot/cycle entrance to York. Future opportunity to develop the Foss as a feature for recreation and leisure. But an air pollution hot spot, plan for more space for trees and green space?

Finally a bit of general advice from two sources:- In relation to Urban Forestry information is all in one place now : Urban forestry – GOVUK there is also some interesting information on the Forest Research website : Urban Tree Manual – Forest Research

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