The latest report from the government’s advisers on climate change made many people sit up and take notice – and so it should. Climate change is definitely NOT fake news; it is happening and will continue to happen. With what level of speed and consequence, however, is still up to us – just!
It’s time to change
Many marquee, or endangered species of plants and animals are already doomed. Some, like polar bears, as a direct result of global warming largely caused by man. Others, like tigers and rhinos by a combination of other human factors, chiefly habitat destruction.
So, it’s time we took responsibility for our actions.
But what can we do about it? Environmental awareness and a reduction in energy use will help, even if we feel we are making little difference by reducing our consumption of plastic or switching off lights. As the world’s population continues to spiral, man’s carbon footprint just gets bigger. Each person in this country alone is responsible for 10 tons of carbon being released into the atmosphere every year, so the response to the problem needs to become more radical.
Forests influence climate change largely by affecting the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. When forests grow, carbon is removed from the atmosphere and absorbed in wood, leaves and soil. They also reduce the risk of flooding, produce huge bio-diversity and thousands of species of plants and animals live in UK woodland alone. Forests produce timber and many associated products; 25% if the world’s medicines come from trees. They filter and suck-up pollutants and release oxygen for us to breathe.
Trees for well-being
Not only that, trees look and feel wonderful and provide us with a feeling of well-being. In addition to improving air quality, it’s been proved that trees in urban areas reduce stress, encourage physical activity and help to bring people together and strengthen communities. They can aid recovery and alleviate depression and anxiety. What’s not to love about trees?
The UK is currently one of the least-wooded areas in Europe with just 13% of the total land area being woodland – the average for Europe is close to 35%. So one response, which will make a difference and a very visible one too, is to plant trees; lots and lots of trees. The Woodland Trust has pledged to plant 64 million trees in the next ten years which would cover 25,000 hectares – about 30 large farms or 25,000 rugby pitches. That’s a start. It seems like a lot – one for each person in the UK. But to make a real difference this country is going to have to up its game.
You can make a difference
That’s where we can all do our bit and now’s a great time of year to be doing it while trees are dormant. Think about giving a tree as a special birthday or Christmas present, or for the person who has everything, dedicate a tree or woodland to them with The Woodland Trust. Schools and communities can get trees for free by applying here https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/free-trees/.
Trees feature wherever they can in our planting schemes here at GreenArt, not only for the instant impact they have by creating structure or a focal point within a garden, but also for the long-term. One client we are creating a garden for in Oxfordshire wants us to plant legacy trees for their grandchildren, in much the same way as the Victorians used to. We’ll be planting English Oak, Sycamore and Dawn Redwood so they not only have trees to be remembered by, but they are doing their bit to help the planet. What can you do?
We at GreenArt can provide help at any level
From planning a wildlife garden, building hides, constructing ponds and streams, creating paths and planting trees and shrubs.