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Cambridge City Council

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Neighbourhood Canopy Campaign

Cambridge currently has 17% tree canopy cover – meaning leaves and branches cover 17% of the ground. This is more than the national average, but we are working to increase it to 19%.

Tree canopy cover in Cambridge varies from ward to ward. Newnham in the west of the city has 22.6% cover, while Cherry Hinton and Abbey in the east have only 12.8% and 12.9% respectively.

This unequal distribution of trees and green spaces across the city will impact residents in different ways. While the benefits of easy access to natural spaces and features like trees continues to be studied, the links to increased physical and mental wellbeing are clear.

Recognising this inequality across the city, we have launched the Neighbourhood Canopy Campaign.

Every year we will identify areas with low tree canopy cover and prioritise one of them based on their need. The government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation will help us identify areas with the greatest need.

We’ll seek to announce the chosen area and launch engagement activities to promote the benefits that trees provide during National Tree Week.

We’ll be giving free trees and shrubs, including fruit and pollinating species, to residents in the target areas to help improve tree canopy cover. If we can, we’ll also give away bird boxes, insect hotels, water butts and wildflower seed mixes.

Our first project: Whitehill Road estate

The first area identified by the campaign is the Whitehill Road estate in Abbey ward.

In December 2020 we delivered leaflets about the campaign to households on the estate, with instructions for claiming a free tree.

The first 500 eligible households to register will receive a single tree or shrub or their choosing, subject to availability. You must have a campaign leaflet to apply.