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Abstract

Sidmouth is the UK’s first ‘civic’ arboretum: it encompasses the entire town rather than a separate single site. Established in 2010, the arboretum aims to maintain and enhance the area through tree planting and protection. The i-Tree Eco project was initiated and led by the charity Sidmouth Civic Arboretum, with support from Treeconomics in project design and training of surveyors. The survey was carried out by volunteers; local schools were also engaged in data collection.
Version: January 2018 By: Kathryn Hand and Kieron Doick (www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/uforg and www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/itree) © Forest Research
Sidmouth i-Tree Eco project (2014)
Background
Sidmouth is the UK’s first ‘civic’ arboretum: it encompasses the entire town rather
than a separate single site. Established in 2010, the arboretum aims to maintain
and enhance the area through tree planting and protection.
The i-Tree Eco project was initiated and led by the charity Sidmouth Civic
Arboretum, with support from Treeconomics in project design and training of
surveyors. The survey was carried out by volunteers; local schools were also
engaged in data collection.
The project was funded by the Sid Vale Association, Sidmouth Town Council and
East Devon AONB. Engagement from tree experts to give tree talks and walks
helped raise interest and enthusiasm for the survey.
Outputs
Sidmouth Arboretum produced a 12 page report summarising headline results;
without the technical detail and analysis present in other i-Tree Eco reports
(Sidmouth Arboretum, 2014). It was published via a ‘release’ day, comprised of
tree talks and events. It was also publicised in the local newspaper.
Impacts
Provided baseline statistics on urban forest:
Information on species composition of the urban forest identified ash as the
most abundant broadleaf species. This highlighted the possible impact from a
loss of these trees from ash dieback
Baseline information on tree species and population useful for ‘master-
planning’ of the urban forest and helped to begin to assess potential impacts,
such as from pests and diseases
Secured resources for District Council’s tree team:
Project findings helped to secure an additional full-time arboricultural officer
post
Raised awareness at District Council level:
District members and working parties were interested and engaged with the
results of the project
The project helped raise interest in further i-Tree Eco work in other regions of
East Devon District
Improved capacity for Sidmouth Arboretum to be involved in tree management:
Raised the profile of Sidmouth Arboretum
Improved understanding of urban forest composition and value within
Sidmouth Arboretum
Gave Sidmouth Arboretum greater authority to make statements on the value
of trees and discuss this with both the public and council
Increased awareness and engagement of local community in the management
of the urban forest:
Improved volunteer surveyors’ knowledge of different tree species and their
value
Plans for a Community Tree Strategy to be developed (Sidmouth Arboretum,
2014)
Helped increase public understanding of urban forest values and threats from
tree diseases
Guiding new policy:
New District Tree Strategy being drafted which will reference Sidmouth and
Torbay i-Tree Eco projects
Findings used within Devon Ash Resilience Forum, along with Torbay i-Tree
Eco project, to assess potential impact of ash dieback (Wolton, 2016)
Opportunity for results to feed into the new Local Neighbourhood Plan,
currently in development
References
Anonymised interview responses for ongoing study on i-Tree Eco impacts by
Forest Research.
Sidmouth Arboretum. (2014). Sidmouth Arboretum Tree Survey. Sidmouth
Arboretum. Sidmouth, UK.
Wolton, R. (2016).Devon ash dieback action plan. Report for Devon Local Nature
Partnership & Devon Hedge Group.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Sidmouth Arboretum Tree Survey. Sidmouth Arboretum
  • Sidmouth Arboretum
Sidmouth Arboretum. (2014). Sidmouth Arboretum Tree Survey. Sidmouth Arboretum. Sidmouth, UK.
Report for Devon Local Nature Partnership & Devon Hedge Group
  • R Wolton
Wolton, R. (2016).Devon ash dieback action plan. Report for Devon Local Nature Partnership & Devon Hedge Group.
Sidmouth Arboretum Tree Survey
  • Sidmouth Arboretum
  • U K Sidmouth
  • R Wolton
Sidmouth Arboretum. (2014). Sidmouth Arboretum Tree Survey. Sidmouth Arboretum. Sidmouth, UK. Wolton, R. (2016).Devon ash dieback action plan. Report for Devon Local Nature Partnership & Devon Hedge Group.