Every tree owned by Lancashire County Council set to be numbered- here's the reason why

Every tree owned by Lancashire County Council is set to be numbered in a bid to prevent tragedy.

The authority already cares for trees on or near to the highways, but if given the green light by cabinet members this afternoon - this scheme will be extended to include those on land that the council owns or has responsibility for.

>>> Click here to read why 96% of ash trees in Lancashire will die

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By numbering each tree, the authority can keep track of each one individually, so they can be monitored for disease, weak roots and dead trees, which could pose a risk to the public.

Why do it?

On October 3 2019, 58-year-old Neville Scattergood, who was walking his dog on the Isabel Trail in Stafford, was struck and killed by part of a falling oak tree.

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Staffordshire County Council had a programme of proactive inspection and maintenance across the county, but the Isabel Trail had been omitted for many years.

As a result, Staffordshire County Council was prosecuted for failing to inspect and maintain trees on a public footpath, and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) subsequently urged all local authorities to ensure that they have suitable inspection systems in place including monitoring and audit provisions to guard against fatalities occurring.

Lancashire County Council trees

Last year it was also revealed that 96 per cent of Lancashire's ash trees will die because of disease.

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How many?

It is the first time that Lancashire County Council has carried out a full audit of how many trees it has, but there are likely to tens of thousands inspected and catalogued.

County Councillor Shaun Turner said: " We take the safety of the public incredibly seriously and this expansion will make our already very safe service even better.

"Within recent years, nationally there have been several high-profile tragic tree related accidents involving trees.

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"The risk to people is exceedingly small, around one in 10 million, however tragedies do occur every year.

"One reason the risk is so small is that in most instances appropriate and timely management decisions have taken place and hazardous trees have been identified and removed."

Three full-time tree surveyors that were recently taken on by the authority are expected to carry out the work.