Trees help fight climate change

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A view of an oak tree

Last week on Tuesday, May 25, Rother Environment Group (REG) staged their talk in the Rye Community Garden in Love Lane. The garden is a wonderful project of planting, growing and enjoying produce when ready. A group of volunteers run and look after the garden and welcome anyone who wants to join, have a chat, help with the weeding / planting, or collect some of the vegetables. And usually, depending on the weather, some volunteers are there on Saturday mornings between 10am and 12 noon.

The REG meeting started off in the open space but then it started to rain. Hoods and umbrellas went up, but eventually we all, with a lot of laughter, as there were about 15 people, gave in and settled under the beautiful, large oak tree.  John Tucker from the Woodland Trust, who gave the talk, seamlessly dealt with the situation.

John has worked with the trust for 26 years and is very passionate about just how important it is to look after the trees and woods we do have. He also explained how important it is in England in particular and across the UK, to increase the amount of woodland, as the UK is 13% of woodland, Scotland 19%, and England only 10%.

He said that ancient woods continue to be lost and damaged by house building, new roads and railways and the ‘ancient’ refers to the soil which helps the trees flourish.

“Over 1,225 ancient woods across the UK are under threat from development, while during the last 21 years, 981 have been permanently lost or damaged. A study in eastern England showed that of two million individual trees present in 1850, only one million survive today, which has an impact on woodland birds and butterflies. We need to quadruple the current rate of woodlands creation.”

A recent report by the Woodland Trust explains why this is important. “Woodlands and trees are vital for a healthy happy society. They lock up carbon to fight the climate change, improve our health, wellbeing and education, reduce pollution and flooding and support people, wildlife and livestock.” For action the report suggests: “we need genuine, integrated strategies for change which will inspire people, boost public investment, fix broken policies and target actions”.

If you are interested in making a difference to how we treat and leave the earth for the next generation do read the report.

Image Credits: Heidi Foster .

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