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Work to keep the county borough’s ‘urban forest’ in good health

A major programme of tree surgery and pruning will begin this month in Porthcawl before moving on to the rest of Bridgend County Borough’s ‘urban forest’.

Following an 18-month assessment, Bridgend County Borough Council is carrying out the work to ensure that local trees are kept in the best possible condition.

There are over 439,000 trees in the county borough’s urban areas of Bridgend, Maesteg, Porthcawl, Pencoed and Pyle. There are 60 different species of trees and shrubs, with ash, hawthorn and goat willow the most common species.

As well as using all of the necessary management techniques on trees that can be saved, any trees found to be decaying will need to be felled, while a number of new trees will be planted.

The urban trees that line our streets, frame roadsides, and grow in parks and gardens play an important role in our daily lives.

As well as making areas more pleasant places to live because of their appearance, urban trees provide habitats for wildlife, provide both sound and visual screening, act as windbreaks and also make a measurable impact in reducing flooding and filtering air pollution.

Unfortunately, trees sometimes develop defects or succumb to pests and diseases, so action needs to be taken to give them a helping hand whenever possible. The county borough has a lower proportion of larger trees so we’ve identified specific locations where we can plant appropriate and native species where they can be managed carefully to maturity.

Councillor Richard Young, the council’s Cabinet Member for Communities

A scientific study commissioned by the council in 2015, in partnership with Natural Resources Wales, found that Bridgend County Borough’s urban trees slow down around 124 million litres of water during heavy rain each year, which is equivalent to an estimated £163,000 in sewerage charges.

Trees also clean our air by removing an estimated 61 tonnes of airborne pollutants every 12 months, saving more than £179,000 in damage costs while helping to reduce asthma and heart disease.

But the biggest contribution they make is the amount of carbon they remove from our atmosphere, helping to tackle climate change. The county borough’s urban forest removes around 2,080 tonnes of carbon each year, estimated to be worth £457,000.

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