Harrow Council has championed the news that the public will have a greater say on the future of trees in their community.

Environment Secretary Michael Gove announced last month that trees in urban areas should be given greater protection.

His department plans to ensure they are not cut down without a proper public consultation.

Harrow Council welcomed the announcement and said it is in favour of greater discussion with those living and working in the borough.

“We support anything that encourages engagement with residents,” said Cllr Sue Anderson, responsible for community engagement at Harrow Council.

Mr Gove described trees in towns and cities as “undoubtedly part of our local heritage”.

He added: “It’s right that the views of local people are at the heart of any decision that affects their community – and the futures of the trees that line their streets are no different.

“These measures will enhance the protection given to urban trees, ensuring residents are properly consulted before trees are felled and safeguarding our urban environment for future generations.”

The proposals reference the responsibility of councils to reporting tree felling and ensure that there is sufficient replanting.

The Forestry Commission will also be given greater powers to tackle illegal tree felling in wooded landscapes.

Sir William Worsley, the Government’s ‘tree champion’, said he looks forward to working on its development.

“By planting the right trees in the right place, we can ensure that they continue to improve health and wellbeing and encourage people to enjoy the outdoors,” he said.