Letter: Towns need their own forests

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The Independent Online
Towns need their own forests

Sir: Your report "Planting trees may worsen droughts" (9 July) made no reference to the benefits of trees in relation to water resources. Others will no doubt argue the merit of more trees in the countryside. There is a clear case for more trees in towns.

Much of the land surface has been sealed with tarmac, or concrete. Rainfall is almost instantly dispersed, and picks up a host of chemicals in the process. This polluted surge of storm water can cause all kinds of problems for streams and rivers. Trees in towns are know to play a vital role in reducing this problem.

Other benefits trees can bring to towns include air pollution amelioration, shelter, energy conservation, enhanced property values and wildlife conservation. The Government is seeking to double the nation's woodland cover. Our work has shown that there is a significant amount of land available in towns where new trees can be grown. We should focus some of our effort on the urban forests of the future.

NERYS JONES

Executive Director

National Urban Forestry Unit

Great Barr, West Midlands

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