Calculate canopy cover near you

Measure the canopy cover in your local area to help trees get the care and attention they need.

Credit: A.P.S. (UK) / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: A.P.S. (UK) / Alamy Stock Photo
What is canopy cover?

When viewed from above, tree canopy cover is ‘the layer of leaves, branches, and tree stems that cover the ground’ (Treeconomics, 2017). This is a useful measure as the area of canopy cover can then be linked to the benefits provided by the trees, like shade or filtering air pollution.

Urban trees bring lots of benefits to our towns and cities, such as improving air quality, cooling our streets and improving our wellbeing. But not all of us have as many on our doorstep as others, and some of the trees we do have are not properly recorded.

Access to urban trees in our streets, parks and green spaces varies significantly depending on where you live – levels of tree canopy cover range from 3% to 45% in different towns and cities.

To help understand current levels of tree cover, Forest Research, in partnership with Trees for Cities, Brillianto and the Woodland Trust, are calling for volunteers to build a map of ward-level tree canopy cover across the UK. The map uses a tool developed by Treeconomics in partnership with the US i-Tree team, who adapted i-Tree Canopy for use in the UK. The project is particularly interested in recording urban canopy cover but it covers all parts of the UK.

How you can help

We're calling on our supporters to help complete the map which is currently about 65% complete. If we can complete it together, it will provide the first full UK-wide figures for canopy cover at a local council ward level. This information will be invaluable for guiding efforts to plant and protect trees.

It's easy to get involved and record canopy cover where you live. The project uses a free, online tool called i-Tree Canopy, which provides a scientifically robust and consistent approach to estimating canopy cover. It’s quick and easy to use, allowing a canopy cover assessment to be completed for a council ward in around 45 minutes.

Take part  

For further information watch our webinar.

That's the minimum canopy cover council wards should aim for.
But the current UK average is only around 16%. How does your local ward compare?

What can we do with this information?

Information on tree canopy cover can be used by councils to target planting and protection of trees. Local communities can also use this information to press for more trees and better protection. Once the national map is complete, the data will help us to better understand the distribution of canopy cover and support management of urban trees.

The data will be fully accessible to the public and will allow communities to understand how their area fares compared to other wards across the UK. This will equip our supporters with the information needed to discuss canopy targets with local councillors or tree officers.