Urban trees can provide a wide range of benefits to society. For example: reduce surface water flooding, provide shade during hot weather, remove air pollutants and improve the attractiveness of an area.

Despite this, the budget for tree planting in many local authorities has been reduced to zero. What budget remains is mainly reserved for risk management - surveying and removal of dangerous trees. So local authority tree officers are often turning towards the private sector (both businesses and citizens) to help meet this funding shortfall.

Helen Davies, a PhD student at the University of Southampton, is therefore conducting questionnaire based interviews with business representatives from Hampshire in order to find out:

  • the extent to which businesses in Southampton value urban trees and the natural environment;
  • whether businesses support the idea of an environment partnership between the public and private sectors for funding urban trees; 
  • the conditions under which businesses would be willing to contribute financially to Southampton's urban trees.

The interviews can be by phone or face-to-face, and will take around 25 minutes. lf you wish to take part in the study, please contact Helen at hidlgl5@soton.ac.uk .