Trees and our urban forest

Oxford’s urban forest comprises all the trees and woody vegetation in our city that provide us with numerous benefits, also known as ecosystem services, such as clean air, spaces for recreation and carbon storage. Not only does our urban forest provide essential environmental benefits but importantly investing in our urban forest can help us to raise living standards and tackle inequalities in our city.

This is a good moment to celebrate our urban forest and take action to expand, enhance and protect it. Not only do we face climate and ecological emergencies, but the COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of our natural environment particularly for our mental health and wellbeing. A survey by Natural England showed that around 9 out of 10 people agreed that natural spaces are good for mental health and wellbeing. More than 40% noticed that nature, wildlife, and visiting local green and natural spaces have been even more important to their wellbeing since the coronavirus restrictions began.

In September 2021 we adopted our Urban Forest Strategy which sets a strategic framework for managing our urban forest and seeks to maximise the benefits for both nature and all Oxford’s residents and visitors.

Oxford i-Tree Eco Study

The Urban Forest Strategy was developed using data from the Oxford i-Tree Eco Study

What can you do?

There are many things you can do as individuals, businesses and institutions to help us manage our urban forest. There are many ideas and links to guidance that you can view in our What can you do? document.