Research Reveals How Trees Cover London’s Most Desirable Areas


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Leicestershire, UK, 17 November 2022 - Research by aerial mapping company Bluesky International has shown a direct correlation between happiness and the ‘greenest’ London Boroughs. By comparing its unique database of more than 3 million trees with the results of Rightmove’s annual Happy at Home Index, Bluesky has revealed the happiest places to live in the capital.  

 Using the National Tree Map data, which provides accurate height, location and canopy coverage data for trees 3m and taller, Bluesky has revealed that London’s leafiest boroughs, with tree cover rates of over 26 per cent, are Barnet, Camden and Richmond-upon-Thames. At the other end of the green scale, Barking and Dagenham, Newham and Tower Hamlets scored between 8 and 12 per cent, accounting for the lowest levels of tree cover in London. 

 Data from Rightmove’s most recent Happy at Home Index puts Richmond-upon-Thames in second place across the whole of Great Britain and, for the seventh consecutive year, top of the list of the most desirable places to live in the capital. Conversely Barking and Dagenham, on the lower end of the tree cover spectrum, came in last behind Brent and Newham, and in the bottom half of all areas of Great Britain that were surveyed. 

 “Often referred to as the ‘lungs of the planet’ trees have a pivotal role in capturing and storing carbon and providing massive benefits to the environment and our health. They also contribute to cooling our cities and prevent flooding through interception and absorption” commented Ralph Coleman, Sales Director at Leicestershire-based Bluesky. “But what this research reinforces, is the importance of trees on our mental wellbeing with the two sets of data showing a strong positive correlation between canopy cover and happiness.” 

 The National Tree Map, which is unique to Bluesky, was launched 11 years ago to address the issue of building subsidence for the insurance sector. It is created using innovative algorithms and image processing techniques, from the most up to date aerial photography covering the whole of Great Britain and Ireland. It captures data including measurements of height and canopy cover and is widely used by a number of different industries and sectors, for example local authorities, energy companies, property developers and academic and research organisations investigating the role of trees and green spaces and their impact on health, environment and infrastructure. 

 The Rightmove Happiness at Home Index 2021 asked circa 21,000 residents how they felt about where they lived, as well as ranking 10 happiness factors including friendliness, community spirit, whether people feel like they can be themselves, opportunities locally to develop skills, amenities, including schools, restaurants, shops and sports facilities, and access to nature and green spaces.  

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Debbie Hughes, Head of Marketing & Communications, Tel: +44 (0) 1530 518518, 

Robert Peel – Editorial Contact, Tel: +44 (0) 1666 823306, 

 About Bluesky and the National Tree Map 

Bluesky’s National Tree Map is created using innovative algorithms and image processing techniques in combination with the most up to date and detailed aerial photography. In addition to the three vector map layers; Crown Polygons, Idealised Crowns and Height Points, the Bluesky National Tree Map also includes an attribute table including unique identification for each crown feature, height attributes and area calculations. The data is available in a range of formats for use in GIS, CAD and online mapping tools and is currently available for the whole of England, Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland. 

 Bluesky International is the leading aerial survey and geographic data company in the UK producing and maintaining seamless digital aerial photography and height data on a national scale in both Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. Bluesky also undertakes bespoke surveys, including LiDAR, for a range of public and private sector clients.  

 Bluesky International operates a range of aircraft and sensors including three Ultracam Eagle Mark 3s and two CityMappers which allow the simultaneous collection of vertical and oblique imagery, as well as LiDAR data, and a Galaxy LiDAR which is mounted with a thermal sensor and survey grade camera. These systems put Bluesky International in the enviable position of being able to provide customers with unique and cost-effective geospatial solutions.  

 As well as being an established and respected aerial survey company Bluesky International is also highly innovative and continually strives to develop new products and services by embracing new technology and methods. This has resulted in the development of some unique products such as the National Tree Map (NTM).  

 These datasets underpin long term contracts with local and central governments and many major blue-chip companies from a range of market sectors including financial services, utilities, telecoms, web portals, construction and environment.  Bluesky International has offices in the UK, US, Republic of Ireland and a dedicated production centre in India.   


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