South Tyne tree coverage below national average
A new national mapping exercise by environment charity Friends of the Earth also shows that tree coverage roughly tracks levels of deprivation across the country – with the most deprived areas generally having fewer trees.
The analysis by mapping experts Terra Sulis identified lone and street trees and shows just 7.7% of South Tyneside is covered by foliage – well below the figure for England as a whole which stands at 12.8%.
Census figures from 2021 shows just 43% of the 68,287 households in South Tyneside are not deprived in four key areas – housing, education, health and employment – and the area follows the national trend, as it ranks 270th for tree coverage and is 264th for deprivation.
The data also shows that 43% of neighbourhoods in England have less than 10% tree cover, while 84% have less than 20% coverage.
The Government's current goal is to increase tree coverage to 16.5% by 2050, but Friends of the Earth say the target should be ‘at least’ double that.
Mike Childs, head of science, policy and research at the charity, said: "Current targets for tree planting are woefully inadequate. We need many more trees for urban cooling and absorbing harmful carbon emissions.
A Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs spokesperson said: “£650m is focused on the planting and establishment of trees in urban areas.
"Increasing tree and canopy cover is part of our plan to tackle the impacts of climate change and the biodiversity crisis."