It’s been almost 7 months since the public consultation period for PAS 115closed and since then, we have made great progress in addressing the comments and suggestions made so that we can reach a final draft that gives end-users maximum confidence in the PAS process and its outcomes.
One of the main areas where we believe the PAS 115 process can be used to best effect is in the planting of urban street trees, many of which will be planted in the same areas where road sweepers collect the street sweepings which are the origins of this process.
The many benefits of street trees cannot be underestimated and as such, the government and local authorities are making plans to incorporate even more into the built infrastructure for both existing and new areas of regeneration.
Another company that shares our passion for sustainable growth through the planting of more green infrastructure are GreenBlue Urban. At the end of July, UBU’s Group Manager’s Eddie Murphy and Rebecca Murphy-Peers visited GreenBlue at their HQ in Robertsbridge to find out a bit more about their operation and how they are aiming to revolutionise tree planting which incorporates sustainability and drainage into its design.
Their experience in Urban tree planting extends to over 29 years and they are now established as the UK’s market leader in providing specialist tree pit products, with the aim of making it easier for trees planted in the urban environment to become established and thrive.
By offering their expertise as well as a range of bespoke tree pit systems, they have shown best practices when it comes to planting to give confidence that their systems can help support a trees growth consistently.
The tour began with a presentation that covered many key aspects of the national and global work that GreenBlue have already undertaken and why they are so focused on delivering more of these projects.
The need for tree systems like the ones provided by Greenblue was developed due to the recognition of the importance of the volume of soil below ground and how this can have a direct impact on the successful growth and canopy size of a tree.
As is to be expected, these larger and more mature trees can provide many more benefits than newly planted trees, so finding a way to sustain these newly planted trees growth so that they can mature is of high importance.
This then led to a few examples of their current tree planting systems, which were explained in great detail by the GreenBlue team.
The installation methods, rigorous testing, and links to creating more Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS’s) were all covered extensively, with examples of previous projects undertaken by GreenBlue supporting these claims.
In our line of business, dealing with flooding caused by heavy rain and storms is one of our main areas of operation, therefore it was also interesting to learn more about the ways in which these urban trees and SUDS’s can effectively reduce the likelihood of drainage and sewage systems becoming overwhelmed.
This informative presentation was then followed by a tour of their conveniently placed manufacturing facility, where UBU saw how these tree planting systems were produced in real-time and got an insight into the recycled materials used to produce them.
Having learned about GreenBlue’s manufacturing methods and their reasoning behind creating these systems, it was time to head into the capital to see some of the many sites where GreenBlue tree pits have been successfully installed.
The variety of sites ranged from Tower Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral and all were great examples of how we can incorporate more green infrastructure to enhance areas so people can appreciate green spaces in city centre environments. As well as providing shelter from the sun and the rain, these canopies visually enhance city spaces which can otherwise be industrial and harsh. The Barbican was one place on our pit stop tour that really demonstrated the creative use of green spaces and tree planting nestled quite happily in its brutalist architecture styles.
From the sites that we visited, it was fascinating to see the different ways in which the green areas had been incorporated into a variety of urban landscapes and it gave us even more motivation to try and support the push for more, especially in the North West.
Thankfully, we are now getting even closer to the launch of PAS 115 which will hopefully mean that our involvement when it comes to trees in the cities will extend even further than sweeping up their leaves in autumn!