Whilst we busy our minds with the complexities of climate change, reducing CO2 emissions and ridding our oceans of plastic, we sometimes miss the simplest of messages … the world needs more trees!
According to the National Geographic, forests still cover 30% of the worlds land area, but this is disappearing with alarming rapidity. Between 1990 and 2016 the world reportedly lost 1.3m square kilometres of forest. To put that in to context … an area larger than the whole of South Africa! Now that’s a pretty scary thought! The environmental impact of this loss is unimaginable. Not to mention the millions of animals and human beings that will have lost their homes in the process.
Programmes to reduce deforestation are fighting hard to at least reduce the growth, but efforts must be redoubled if we are to have any hope of reversing or even just slowing down climate change. But we don’t have to watch from the sidelines, there are plenty of things we can do right here in the UK to help replenish our greenery and planet.
What can we do to help?
Simply finding a space in your garden to plant a tree can help to generate a more pleasant and sustainable environment. Simply pick a tree that is suitable for the space and soil you have available and get digging! With over 27 million households in the UK, just think of the impact on the environment if just a small proportion of us agreed to plant a single tree! Every tree helps!
There are lots of local schemes run by local councils and groups to encourage people to plant more trees. Why not speak with others in your local area and get together to plan an event for your community? Bringing people together to plant on a spare piece of land is a fantastic way of raising awareness and building sustainability. Schools, colleges, local businesses can get involved by participating, promoting and sponsoring the event to broaden the impact. Speak with local landowners and council representatives to find the perfect spot!
Why not give a gift that keeps on giving (or growing)! You can either send a gift of a tree to a friend or family member for them to plant in their garden, or take a look at the many organisations around the country where you can sponsor a tree in their name. As a starter for ten, take a look at the National Forest Plant a Tree Scheme. They have already planted nearly 9 million trees and need our help to reach their target.
Many people don't realise the potential that trees provide. Let alone the immediate and future impact they can have on our environment. Why not promote tree planting in your work, school or college? Provide resources on the best tree to choose, how to get started and some key facts on the benefits of trees. The Woodland Trust has lots of resource packs that can help. You could also invite a representative from a local garden centre to give a talk on tree planting and ongoing care. Knowledge is power!