Guide: How to develop an Urban Tree Trail in your local area

Gather a group of tree enthusiasts

Although an individual could create a tree trail, it works well if you have 3 or 4 people to work together on developing a trail for your area. You may discover people with expertise, knowledge, interests or experiences with trees already.

Agree your criteria for selecting trees

Do you want to cover a specific route and note trees on it? Do you have specific trees or areas of trees you want to include? Do you need permission from any person or organisation to include particular trees in your trail e.g. if an interesting tree is in a private garden and can be viewed from a public path speak to the owner? Do you want to create a circular or point to point trail?

Reconnoitre the area and select 20-25 tree instances for your trail

A tree instance can be an individual tree or a group of similar trees. It works well if the majority of tree instances on your trail are individual trees. Remember that an anonymous-looking tree in summer or winter may burst into spectacular colour in the spring or autumn.

Identify and record the location of each of your tree instances as you go around using “What3Words” or another application. Locations can be checked back home on the “What3Words” website.

Photograph each tree, its bark and a leaf or bud if possible.

Think about what makes the most pleasant route, as well as the best trees. Successful trails have something interesting at regular intervals and avoid busy roads and narrow pavements.

Identify your selected trees

Identify the scientific and informal names of your selected trees.

You may need an expert to help you identify some tricky or very rare trees, but most can be identified with the help of a good field guide. As the name suggests, these are best used ‘in the field’ (and is a great way to learn your trees!). If your tree matches the description in the guide, double-check by comparing your photographs with internet images of the tree.

Share the list of tree instances

Share the list of tree instances with the local team/person who are responsible for maintaining the trees e.g. Bath Parks, Groundsman.

Check whether all the tree candidates are known to be safe and not subject to any treatment(s).

Finalise your list

Finalise your list of tree instances—aim for 20—and take setting photographs.

Take final photographs of trees to identify them in their setting for the paper map and web app. Ideal photographs are taken in the Spring, just as the trees are coming into leaf, with a blue sky background.

Pilot your trail

Ask people to pilot the trail—local residents, younger families, wheeled transport users—and feedback their experiences.

If you wish to add your tree trail to Bath Urban Treescape

Submit your tree trail application to the Bath Urban Treescape team for publication on the website.

Cost to integrate into the Bath Urban Treescape website: £200

If you wish to produce a paper map of your tree trail

Raise funds for printing paper maps

Cost for the Bath Urban Treescape designer to produce a map layout, ready for printing: £200

A rough printing costs guide


Tech used to create the Bath Urban Treescape


  • Built using the Vue/Nuxt framework
  • Supabase for the database and photo storage
  • Netlify for the hosting
  • VS Code for the code editor
  • GitHub for cloud-based version control
  • Adobe Photoshop for photo resizing and compression

Paper maps

  • Adobe InDesign for printed map layout
  • Adobe Illustrator for logo design