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Cambridge: Tree Canopy

Published: 28 February 2023

The project

The Canopy Project is an urban forestry initiative which aims to increase tree canopy cover in Cambridge by 2% by the 2050s.

The project seeks to build climate resilience – both adapting to climate change and mitigating against it, for instance by tackling urban heat stress and through soaking up storm water.

The work, part of the Interreg 2 Seas Programme ‘Nature Smart Cities’ project, contributes to the sustainable management of Cambridge’s urban forest, complementing and enhancing current arboriculture practices through urban forestry approaches to tree planting, management and protection, and public engagement.

The benefits

The project’s activities have delivered a range of tangible outcomes in the form of approximately 2,660 new trees planted across the city’s streets and open spaces since 2019 – exceeding the project’s initial planting target (2,000 trees). Some of these were realised through additional fundraising exercises and processes made possible by the project. The remaining 200 trees funded through the Nature Smart Cities project will be planted during the 2022-2023 planting season.

Additionally, 1,090 trees have been gifted to private landowners. Further tree giveaways were carried out during 2022, through the Free Trees for Babies scheme and the Neighbourhood Canopy Campaign.

Communication, outreach, awareness raising, and engagement activities carried out through the project have increased understanding among the people of Cambridge about the importance of trees and the urban forest, the role these play in combatting the impacts of climate change, and how they can get involved too, helping to build greater climate resilience and community cohesion.

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