It's no secret that woods and trees are good for people's health and wellbeing, particularly in our towns and cities. But urban trees and woods aren't distributed equally, and the communities that could most benefit are losing out.

Everyone should have easy nearby access to the benefits of trees. This is what we call 'tree equity'.

What is tree equity?

Tree equity is the idea that all communities have equitable access to the benefits of trees where they live. While some urban areas enjoy abundant greenery and tree cover, others lack these essential natural assets.

Tree equity must be embedded into urban forest planning, and that doesn't just mean planting. Plans must also include caring for and protecting trees - both newly planted and existing - to ensure they continue to thrive and improve the quality of life of residents for years to come.


neighbourhoods now have a Tree Equity Score


added tree cover would achieve tree equity in the UK


people now have a Tree Equity Score

Why is tree equity important?

Studies have shown that trees in urban areas can:

  • reduce air pollution, quieten noise and keep cities shaded and cool
  • improve ecosystems and boost biodiversity
  • create a sense of place, beauty and heritage
  • create attractive environments where businesses want to invest and people want to live, work and play
  • alleviate stress, stabilise blood pressure, ease anxiety and depression, and provide opportunity for healthy, active lifestyles.

Embedding tree equity in the UK

The UK's total woodland cover is just 13%, with our towns and cities faring even worse. Studies from Forest Research, cited in our State of Woods and Trees report, have revealed that urban tree cover varies wildly, ranging from as little as 3% in Fleetwood, Lancashire to 45% in Farnham, Surrey.

Everyone should have easy nearby access to the benefits of trees, but to make that happen, we first need to find out where disparities in urban tree cover lie.

The Tree Equity Score tool

Credit: American Forests

Is there tree equity where you live?

The Woodland Trust and Centre for Sustainable Healthcare have partnered with American Forests, the US non-profit organisation that created Tree Equity Score, to bring Tree Equity Score to the UK.

This tool calculates a Tree Equity Score out of 100 for urban neighbourhoods. The lower the score, the greater the need for trees – a score of 100 means tree equity has been achieved.

Get your tree equity score.

How to use your Tree Equity Score

Your Tree Equity Score is a powerful tool that you can use to help improve urban green space in your local area.

Lobby your council

Write to local decision-makers with your Tree Equity Score and ask what they're doing to help address the disparities in tree cover where you live.

Apply for free tree packs

Each year we give away thousands of free tree packs to schools and communities. If tree equity is low where you live, check whether our free tree applications are open and choose from a range of packs including urban trees and wildlife-friendly trees.


The global movement for tree equity


Learn how, alongside American Forests and the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, we brought Tree Equity Score UK to towns and cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Watch the film

Our Tree Equity Score partners

American Forests is the oldest national non-profit conservation organisation in the United States. It creates healthy and resilient forests, from cities to large natural landscapes, that deliver essential benefits for climate, people, water and wildlife. American Forests pioneered the development of Tree Equity Score, first launched in the U.S. in 2021.

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare is one of the world's foremost institutions for sustainable healthcare in research and practice. By sharing knowledge, skills and tools, it inspires and empowers all people in the health system to play their part in the transformation to a sustainable health service that supports our communities and natural world.

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