Birkenhead’s Collection of Green Spaces
Located in relatively close proximity to Liverpool, the town of Birkenhead is the largest part of the Wirral and appears at the centre of the metropolitan borough. It is widely known for housing an array of green spaces, such as Hamilton Square and the majority of Port Sunlight. In fact, Birkenhead Park was the first publicly funded park in Britain, stood as the benchmark for the Park Movement that looked to reform green spaces in North America, and went on to influence the design of countless parks all over the world, including the fundamental composition of Central Park in New York City.
An estimated 121 parks and playgrounds feature within the 2,518 hectares of Birkenhead. The town itself contains a wide selection of trees, with more than 1,450 appearing in Birkenhead Park alone. Although around 13.7% of the wider Wirral borough is covered by trees, the local council and corresponding community groups have opted to increase the tree canopy cover – the tree, hedgerow and woodland strategy accounting for the planting of a further 210,000 trees between 2020 and 2030.
As well as retaining an already thriving tree population, the local authorities across Birkenhead demonstrate a clear vision to build on the number of trees by staging tree planting exercises to deliver thousands of more trees. The benefits to the environment and occupants of Birkenhead do not, however, spread to any developers looking to stage planning projects in the town. Instead, tree cover is only likely to infringe on their development plans, and for it to be possible to move forward without any catastrophic issues, they will first need to organise a tree survey with one of our team.
Guidelines for Ensuring the Safety of Local Trees
Any time a local authority sees certain trees as being valuable, they have the option of placing them under a tree preservation order (TPO) or within a conservation area. Both are forms of protective measures for trees that involve prior consent from the local council before any applicable trees are disrupted. The primary difference between the two is that tree preservation orders (TPOs) typically apply to individual trees and conservation areas apply to all trees within a predetermined zone.
All local councils are given the opportunity to safeguard trees within their jurisdiction by initiating such parameters. Wirral Council oversees the entirety of the borough including Birkenhead, with the power to implement TPOs and conservation areas where necessary. The Wirral has a total of 26 conservation areas, and while they are easy for developers to find online, it is also possible to find trees under all existing tree preservation orders by visiting the dedicated page on the Wirral Council website. In addition, if would like further information on climate change related to trees and protecting and planting trees, you can find it on the Forest Research website.
Suitable Assessments for Planning
From a multitude of different field surveys, a BS5837 tree survey is best suited to support planning applications. An arboricultural consultant would visit the development site and record several items of field data such as root growth, and begin measuring trees present. At this point, the condition and biological importance of each tree will be taken into consideration, alongside other factors that could establish value, such as if they provide shade and the social effects they may have.
Once all data has been retrieved, the trees will be given a grade to guide future decision-making. The possible outcomes will range from retaining the trees, relocating them or destroying them. Retention will always be the priority outcome, and it will be perfectly viable if there are young trees, trees that hold value, or trees that aren’t likely to impact the development plans. Alternatively, if the project taking place cannot be altered and trees will be an obstruction, they will need to be relocated. As a final resort, trees that simply aren’t worth saving will be destroyed and compensated with the planting of new trees.
Before a developer can receive sufficient professional advice to assist with applications for planning consent, the arboricultural surveyor first needs to produce a tree report. All of the details, findings and mitigation measures from the tree survey will be included in tree reports, and if any additional information is needed before the tree consultant can recommend that the local planning authority grant planning permission, they can suggest further tree surveys and reports such as an arboricultural impact assessment (AIA) or arboricultural method statement (AMS).
Speak to Arbtech for a Free Quote
What makes trees in Wirral more difficult to deal with as a developer is that they can appear in urban areas, woodland areas and on private land. Our nationwide coverage enables us to not only ensure that an arboriculturist is in the local area to conduct a tree survey but also knowledgeable of Birkenhead, the Wirral and the broader North West to provide effective, pragmatic and relevant solutions. Arbtech also has tree surveyors in neighbouring areas, such as Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Merseyside.
Assessments for trees including BS5837 tree surveys need to be conducted by professionals who are correctly licensed, trained and educated. All of our arboricultural surveyors possess these attributes, making them effective in solving problems related to trees and planning. You can receive a free quote by reaching out to us via email, through our website, or over the phone. If you are happy with the quote, let us know, and we can organise a date for one of our team to visit your site, undertake a tree survey, and eliminate any of the obstacles preventing the local authority from granting a planning application.