We are delighted to be speaking with Kenton Rogers, Founder of Treeconomics, a social enterprise which has been fundamental in introducing the innovative i-tree tool to the UK. Kenton discusses how, having been introduced to this method of valuing the ecosystems services that our urban trees provide, he piloted the i-tree survey of the Torbay area in South West England. Since this time, London has also used i-tree and many local authorities across the UK are finding this methodology a vital foundation upon which to build upon their green infrastructure policy for the future. The usability of the i-tree software has been an important means of fostering connections between local authority officers and community groups and both Charlotte and Kenton, based in the South West, refer to the establishment of Sidmouth Arboretum on the East Devon coast.
Kenton and Charlotte discuss the potential of the future iterations of the i-tree software and how this might be utilised by a broader audience. When a broader suite from i-itree is offered in the UK it will be possible to offer a detailed report of the benefits that trees are providing on new developments. This will be a powerful part of the empirical evidence those in the construction industry require if the economic argument for increased green infrastructure is to hold weight. Compelling arguments have already been made to Highways teams across the South West when a valuation of the Area 1 part of the Highways Network was surveyed. With continuous improvements to the software and with Kenton’s dedication and passion we are confident at GreenBlue Urban that hearts and minds can be won and that our urban trees will be seen for the true value they provide.