After 18 months of of dedication and collaborative working, Sheffield has become the first local authority to have its urban tree management assessed against new criteria and has been judged to be compliant.
The Sheffield Street Tree Partnership has been working with PEFC UK (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification), to develop a standard of certification for Trees Outside Forests (TOF).
Liz Ballard, Chair of the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership said: “We are really excited about what is essentially a world first for Sheffield and our street trees.
“PEFC, a Sheffield based company who work globally, offered their expertise to provide just the scheme we needed.”
Sheffield becomes the first city in Europe to be audited against the new TOF criteria, and it has been awarded a certificate of compliance for managing its street trees sustainably by PEFC UK.
This enables the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership to achieve a key objective outlined in the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership Strategy.
Executive member for Housing, Road and Waste Management at Sheffield City Council, Councillor Paul Wood said: “This certification signifies a real achievement for Sheffield and is testament of the hard work and tenacity of the Sheffield Street Tree Partnership.”
Until recently only forests and woodlands could be certified by these standards as proof of being managed sustainably.
A recent change in the PEFC standards has allowed PEFC UK to develop a new scheme to allow for trees outside forests to also be certified.
PEFC UK is the National Governing Body of PEFC International, the world’s largest Forest Certification Scheme. It has 1.5 million hectares of certified forest in the UK and 330 million hectares in total worldwide.