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  • Writer's pictureHannah Smith

Woodland Trust: The largest woodland conservation charity in the UK

The Woodland Trust is planting trees all over the UK and working to encourage us all to make the UK a biodiverse paradise.


It is no secret that climate change is one of the most important issues that we, and the next generation, are facing. Scientists have been pushing the issue of climate change since the early nineteenth century, however, despite this, no real action was taken at the time to tackle the issue.


Now, there is more evidence than ever to support that humans have been affecting the climate and emitting hundreds of tons of harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere per annum.


With this in mind, countries all over the globe are making efforts to lower their emissions in an attempt to prevent the disastrous global change predicted for future generations.


We are now in a time in history where change is crucial and there are many ways in which action can be taken, however, despite the current efforts we are all making to recycle and use renewable energy, harmful carbon emissions are still finding their way into our atmosphere and damaging our ozone layer.


The Woodland Trust is a UK charity and organisation that is leading the fight against harmful greenhouse gasses, deforestation and monoculture in the UK.


By planting different species of trees and expanding the growth of existing forests and woodland, the charity hopes to see a growth in the population of indigenous animals, an improvement in the biodiversity of the land and a drop in the levels of carbon emissions in our atmosphere.


"We have pledged to get 50 million trees in the ground over the next five years, helping to put the UK on track to meet its carbon net-zero target." Said a Woodland Trust spokesperson.


Forests, woodland and rainforest are an integral part of our planet and help to prevent climate change. We asked the Woodland Trust to briefly explain how trees help to tackle carbon emissions: "Trees are the ultimate carbon capture and storage machines. Like great carbon sinks, woods and forests absorb atmospheric carbon and lock it up for centuries."


"They do this through photosynthesis. A young wood with mixed native species can lock up around 400+ tonnes of carbon per hectare in trees, roots and soil."



By planting more trees, and ensuring that our forests and woodland are healthy, we can all help to prevent climate change. The Woodland Trust encourages people of all ages to plant trees, respect wooded areas of our country and spend more time in our natural habitats.


There are many protected areas all over the UK and, despite the recent pandemic, all woodland trust forests and woodlands remain open for people to enjoy and are always free of charge to visit. You can find you nearest Woodland Trust area by clicking the following link: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/find-woods/


The Woodland Trust has informed us that, despite the heightened awareness of the climate crisis, threats to woodland, wildlife and the wider environment are growing due to a challenging combination of pressures from humans, pests and diseases.


Their website cites the following on the issue of pests and diseases: “Tree imports rose 700% from 1992 to 2019. This coincided with 267 non-native plant pests arriving and establishing themselves here. Ash dieback alone could kill 80% of UK ash trees at a predicted economic cost of £15bn."


"Another 127 pests and diseases are considered high risk to the UK. If they reach our shores, 47 of them could cost over £1bn each to tackle.”


Other issues such as climate change, inappropriate development of land, pollution and a growing human want for urban environments are continuing to make the Woodland Trust's battle to save our forests and woods more difficult every year.


In an attempt to prevent these issues from growing further and to remind us all that there are many diverse and beautiful natural habitats in our country, the Woodland Trust is offering many different ways in which we can get involved.


These ways include, but are not limited to: signing up as a member, campaigning and fundraising, donating, dedicating a tree to someone, or even leaving a gift in your will. You can find out more by visiting: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/support-us/give/


There is much more to the Woodland Trust organisation than simply planting trees and battling against negative environmental changes. They also strive to protect and preserve ancient woodland and forest areas as well as teach us how to identify the different types of woodland around us.


They have a large collection of tools on their website dedicated to this which also assist us in recognising the many different tree species we have in the UK and where they can be found. For more information, see the following link below: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/how-to-identify-trees/


By Hannah Smith ©

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