As part of the Urban Tree Fund developed by the Forestry Commission, Slough Borough Council has invested £521,945.02 to create a Digital Urban Forest. To date the council has planted 8,200 trees at 31 different sites across the Borough as it builds toward an initial target of planting 10,000 trees.
The Urban Forest will be supported by monitoring technology to collect data on soil moisture, the health of the trees and improvements to air quality. This data will inform the maintenance regime of the trees and demonstrate the environmental benefit of their presence. Once systems are in place, the data will be made available to residents through “Smart City” applications.
Alongside greening Slough’s urban environment, the Urban Forest programme is also being used in number of innovative ways; from offering post Covid training opportunities to residents in Woodland Management, Horticultural Sciences and Biodiversity and Habitat Creation courses, to the establishment of solar micro grids to power the smart devices contained within the forest and to sell back surplus power to the National Grid to fund future maintenance and development.