Trees reduce pollution
It has been known for a while that trees can help reduce air pollution. They trap and absorb pollutants, thereby reducing the amount we are exposed to.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has published a report which put an economic benefit on this reduction in pollution. It is £777 million pa for England of which £5.1million pa is for the borough of Ealing. Here is the starting link – for the enthusiast only!
The Greater London Authority (GLA) has also made an estimate of the economic benefit. For London as a whole it is £129 million pa. Again for the enthusiast only, here is the link.
The value of £5.1 million is the value Ealing’s trees give to everyone, not just to Ealing’s residents. But conversely, Ealing’s residents also benefit from trees outside the borough boundary. This is why we cannot and must not take a narrow – one might say selfish – view. Trees and the Brent River park – where so many of our trees are located – are for the common good.
Trees can only remove some of the pollution. The estimate is about a fifth. Reducing pollution at source is the most important thing.
Of course, reducing air pollution is just one of the benefits of trees. They also have aesthetic benefits which have been shown to lead to health benefits, they ameliorate weather and climate change, and more.