The urban forest, comprising of the trees within Hornsby’s urban areas, contributes significantly to the liveability, natural environment and prosperity of the Shire. These trees provide a myriad of benefits from shading, carbon storage, air pollution reduction, stormwater interception, habitat and food for wildlife, as well as contributing to the landscape character that the community value so highly.
Through their canopies, trees cover almost 59 per cent of the LGA. Canopy cover over urban areas (excluding National Parks and rural lands) is 39 per cent, just short of the Greater Sydney Commission’s target of 40 per cent.
The urban forest however faces many challenges including urban densification, a changing climate, urban heat and canopy loss. The Greater Sydney Commission, through the North District Plan, has identified retention of the urban canopy as a key priority for all councils.
The Urban Forest Strategy seeks to provide guidance on the future care and management of the Shire’s urban forest, balancing a need to protect and restore the tree canopy with people’s reasonable expectations for development on their land.
The Urban Forest Strategy fits under the Environmental Sustainability Strategy – Sustainable Hornsby 2040 and is part of the Sustainability theme of the Community Strategic Plan.