Petersfield is the first town in the South Downs National Park (SDNPA) to have its own Neighbourhood Plan. It was formally adopted by the SDNPA on 21st January 2016. The Plan recognises the importance of trees in its Built Environment Policy, its Natural Environment Policy and in the Town Masterplan (go to http://www.petersfieldsplan.co.uk/).
Current information on Petersfield’s trees is fragmented and incomplete. A new inventory will help inform those who have responsibility to implement the Neighbourhood Plan and those who decide the future of the town’s trees by way of determining applications for works including pruning, pollarding or felling, to trees in the Conservation Area or covered by TPOs. An inventory will also provide the opportunity to inform and enthuse Petersfield residents, workers and visitors about the importance of the town’s natural environment and ecosystem.
With support from South Downs National Park, East Hampshire District Council and the Petersfield Town Council, the Petersfield Society is planning the execution of i-Tree surveys for both the Petersfield parish area, and the Conservation area in the town centre. Andy Moffat has taken on the role of project manager for these surveys, working closely with other members of the Petersfield Society. A dedicated website gives further information. Colleagues in Forest Research will also play an important role as one of the main agencies promoting and delivering i-Tree in the UK (http://www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/itree). Reports of these surveys will be published early in 2017.