Cambridge Canopy Project: building climate resilience using trees and canopy cover

This pilot targets heat stress and heavy rainfall
The pilot aims to help the city of Cambridge prepare for the projected impacts brought about by climate change by increasing tree canopy cover and contributing to a sustainable management of the City’s urban forest. The development of a resilient urban forest will help the City adapt to, and mitigate against, a changing climate. A huge range of benefits will also be realised for nature and human.
Pilot location


Project phase



(Sub)urban residential area

The pilot aims to help the City adapt to climate change by increasing tree canopy cover and contributing to the sustainable management of the City’s urban forest.

It will complement and enhance the City’s current arboricultural activities by developing several standard urban forestry approaches to tree planting, tree protection and public engagement. In addition, urban tree canopy assessment and prioritisation tools will be developed to support sustainable management of the City’s tree stock, and to help identify areas for priority interventions.

It will directly contribute to, and encourage tree planting in the short-term and ensure increased levels of tree protection in the City. This will deliver benefits to help mitigate against the predicted changes in climate brought about by global climatic warming in the long-term.

Finally, the investment aspires to demonstrate to a wide target audience the value of investing in the urban forest, and that by applying one or more urban forest approaches, maintained and enhanced flows of ecosystem services can be achieved.

  • During the 2019-2020 planting season 500 trees from 75 different species were planted.
  • 350 Trees were given away as part of the Cambridge City Council’s ‘Free Trees for Babies’ scheme by February 2020.
  • Cambridge i-Tree Eco study launched with Treeconomics Ltd., Forest Research, and Anglia Ruskin University.
  • Planting locations for 2020-2021 planting season identified and trees specified, with tendering process launched for supplying 821 trees.
  • Community engagement activities developed and launched.


Project team:
Matthew Ling, Matthew Magrath, Alistair Wilson, Robert Murison, Kenny McGregor, Joanna Davies