Terrific trees and wonderful woodlands- why we plant trees

Trees at one of our older woodland sites, which also features a woodland

Trees at one of our older woodland sites, which also features a woodland

With help from grants, donations, members, and volunteers we’ve planted over 150,000 trees across more than 180 hectares in the last 21 years. Over winter 2019/2020 we will be planting another 10,000 trees, with an even bigger number planned for winter 2020/2021.

It’s safe to say that the catchment is looking greener, but why is this important?

We all know that the planet is facing a climate emergency, and we’re already starting to see the effects of climate change. Luckily, we know we can partly mitigate these effects by planting trees and helping our habitats to grow, become more joined up, and naturally regenerate. Woodlands have the potential to capture huge amounts of carbon as they grow, removing it from our atmosphere and locking it up whilst giving us clean air.

An oak flourishing inside its protective tube, which will protect the tree as it grows and after a number of years it will be removed and recycled

An oak flourishing inside its protective tube, which will protect the tree as it grows and after a number of years it will be removed and recycled

Climate change and biodiversity decline are pressing issues and the effects are already causing a clear decline in some species. By planting small woodlands, woodland corridors, and hedges we are providing new habitats for insects, birds, and mammals, and providing them with a way of moving around. Increasing the amount of available habitat and the potential ranges of animals also increases their resilience to future changes with a bigger genetic pool, larger, more joined up populations, and greater access to food and homes.

Trees are particularly important alongside streams and rivers as they provide shelter and keep the water temperature cool

Trees are particularly important alongside streams and rivers as they provide shelter and keep the water temperature cool

Extreme weather has caused problems for many, but the solution may partly lie in natural flood risk management. Natural flood risk management encompasses numerous natural processes that take place in our water and river systems, including peat on hills which sucks up excess water like a sponge, to ponds and leaky dams which holding flood water back and release it slowly. Trees are a key part in this process, absorbing a proportion of the water, slowing it’s journey into river systems, and releasing it slowly and steadily over hours and days.

If none of this inspires you then remember that trees and woodlands are beautiful!

A weekend wander wouldn’t be the same without taking in the calm, tranquil presence of trees and watching all the wildlife they’re supporting and our gardens, streets, footpaths, canal sides, and parks would be bare without trees; the outdoors simply wouldn’t be the same!

Our lovely volunteers help us with our habitat improvements again and again- we couldn't do it without them!

Our lovely volunteers help us with our habitat improvements again and again- we couldn’t do it without them!