Ask a good number of people what they like about Portsmouth, and while there are many positives to choose from, our parks are unlikely to be high on the list.
Yes, we have the huge green space of Southsea Common, but it is hardly renowned for its trees.
There is Victoria Park in the city centre and a few happy oases dotted in among the houses, but not much else.
As the city council’s regeneration chief, councillor Ben Dowling puts it: ‘Portsmouth may be seen as a concrete jungle sometimes but it should not feel that way.’
And we agree.
There are more than 30,000 known trees in Portsmouth, which may sound like a lot, but spread across the city, the figure becomes far less impressive.
As a densely developed island, it's no secret that Portsea clearly suffers from a lack of room, and as a result the air quality in some areas is poor.
The council’s proposals to plant thousands of new trees could prove to be an effective measure on two fronts – reducing that pollution, and helping generally improve the quality of life for residents – who wouldn’t rather see greenery than the ‘urban jungle’?
Of course these changes, if they are passed, will not happen overnight. We will need to be patient, but it is nice to see measures brought in that are not just thinking about short-term gain, but look instead to the longer term health of the city many of us live in.
With no sign of housing developments slowing down, anything to counteract their effects is welcome.
The logistics and costings will inevitably be potential stumbling blocks of such ambitious plans, but for those who worry that their council tax will be diverted to tree planting – the authority has already said it will seek to gain external funding.
Here’s to a greener tomorrow.