The importance of trees
Planting healthy forests for the children of all species is a positive solution to foster a flourishing future.
Trees are our close relatives and are vital to our lives and the health of our world. They are the guardians of balance, gifting us all with clean air and life-
giving rains. Each year laying down a new layer of compost to enrich the earth as their autumn leaves fall. Their strong roots prevent our precious soil from washing away. Their green light-filled leaves give us shade in hot summers and help balance the weather, as they breathe out moisture and fresh air. They draw in carbon dioxide, sharing oxygen and returning the carbon to the earth as building blocks for life. They transform sunlight into food which makes their wood and this sunlight they share again with us as fire. Perhaps we forget that,
as well as the hearth fire, it is the ancient sunlight stored by the trees of thousands of years ago that fuel our cars and enable us to have electricity and the energy that fuels much of our modern life. We build our houses from their
timber and continue to be fed and healed by their many varieties of nuts, berries and fruits.
Trees cooperate with each other to create homes and food for a vast flourishing biodiversity of species including ourselves. The continuing loss of forest eco-systems reflects the loss of our connection to nature. As we renew our sense of appreciation, this cultivates the wish to help the trees in return.
We have a responsibility to plant and tend the trees, for so much of the health of our world is in their care. Let us begin with doing all that we can to protect existing forests whose eco-systems and biodiversity are so vital. These forests are the last sanctuaries of a once vast global forest and cannot simply be replaced by planting new forests which will take generations to become so rich
Let us come together to protect the forests, to gather the seeds of the healthiest trees, to plant and tend new forests, for our health and that of the trees are entwined.
“If every person on earth planted one tree per year for the next six years, we would stop climate change in its tracks.”
~ Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author, botanist, and medical biochemist
PlantingTrees: a positive solution
Planting trees and protecting existing forests are essential actions towards mitigating climate change. Planting native trees vastly increases regional biodiversity as well supporting a healthy climate.
We work to help address this sobering lack of biodiversity and national tree deficit by enabling the planting of more saplings in tree nurseries and Childrens’ Forests across the UK. As well as tree planting, we are passionate about supporting children and their communities to develop connection and care for tending nature so that they will be motivated to steward the natural world into the future.
The gifts of trees
Trees help to clean the air we breathe. They release oxygen for us to breathe, and through their leaves and bark, they absorb the Co2 that we breathe out, as well as harmful pollutants. In urban environments, trees absorb pollutant gases and particles. Healthy, strong trees act as carbon collectors, offset carbon and reduce the effects of climate change.
The root systems of trees hold the earth in place, mitigating erosion. They filter and purify the water and help the water to be absorbed into the soil. They capture rainwater and reduce the risk of floods and landslides. Forests emit moisture from their leaves and help to regulate weather systems. Healthy forests have a beneficial impact on the health of the oceans.
Forest eco-systems support a multitude of species of insects, birds, funghi, mammals, lichens, mosses and and plants. A single Oak tree supports an incredible 2,300 different species. Forests provide habitat for a huge amount of animals who occupy different roles in the eco system. It is vital that there is a wide range of forest habitats to provide for the animals who call them home.
Trees model collaborative community – they form diverse communities who communicate, share resources and protect one another from adversity. The trees are all connected through the mycelium which allows them to share nutrients and minerals with the trees who need them. Spending time in the forests, we become more aware of the interconnected world which we are a part of.
- Planting trees is one of the most important solutions to mitigate climate change.
- We need more trees. Only around 13% of the UK was covered by woodland in March 2020. In England, this was 10%, compared with 15% in Wales, 19% in Scotland and 9% in Northern Ireland. This is relatively low compared with other developed countries: in most European countries, forest covers between 31-50% of land area. For example, woodland covers 32% of France’s land area, 33% of Germany’s and 37% of Spain’s.
- In terms of biodiversity The UK is ranked 12th lowest in biodiversity intactness out of 240 countries surveyed, and England is 7th from the bottom. In contrast Germany is placed at 122, France 101, and Japan is 85.
- The UK currently has a deficit of saplings not in line with the governments trajectory of tree planting plans for the coming years. Our Forest From Seed project aims to establish many tree nurseries which will grow thousands of trees from native healthy tree seeds.
“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
~ Nelson Henderson