Get cleaner and greener by planting trees, by Sally Ikeringill

By September 29, 2020May 6th, 2021Climate change, Habitat, Sustainability

I am a new resident in Woodhouse Eaves, having only moved here in January 2020. I came from urban Coventry as I wanted to live somewhere greener and with more trees. However green it is in Woodhouse Eaves, though, we have to accept that we are in a climate emergency and it is threatening our planet. That is why I was keen to join Woodhouse Net Zero.

In common with a growing number of people, I want to be part of the local solution rather than part of the global problem. According to experts, we are on track for an increase of between three to four degrees Celsius by the year 2100 if we take no action. These are only global average temperatures; at the poles, the increase may be higher – possibly even double. This will have devastating consequences. Changes will be irreversible as ecosystems collapse.

Climate change is such a huge and complex issue that, as individuals, we can feel helpless. However, there are simple things that many of us can do to help – and one of those is planting trees. Although trees are only part of the climate solution, and other changes must be made to reduce global carbon dioxide, it is known that one hectare of native woodland offsets 400 tonnes of carbon. This is because carbon is locked up in the trees, roots and soil, so it is a really important part of the solution. We have to be careful that we plant only in sensible places, but every tree counts.

Climate change is only half of the story. We are also facing a biodiversity crisis (through loss or degradation of natural habitats). The UK is ecologically damaged and habitat loss will only get worse if things go on unchanged. Through planting new trees, as well as protecting old, established woods and trees, we help to provide essential habitat for the wildlife that so many of us love to see.

Perhaps you are involved in a local community group or you know of a local public space that would benefit from a small copse or a new hedge? Maybe you would like to attract hedgehogs or bats to your neighbourhood or create some shade to sit under on a sunny day? Let us know here at Woodhouse Net Zero www.wnz.org.uk/ and we will see how we can make it work alongside our three parish Tree and Heritage Wardens (Kate Moore, Maggie Morland and Cathy Schou). The Woodland Trust can provide free tree packs for communities that want to plant them in public places.

We are hoping to organise regular tree-planting events, perhaps twice a year. We are especially keen to involve children and young people. Together we can make our village and its surrounding area greener and even more beautiful, and contribute to a solution to the most urgent issue of our times.

Sally Ikeringill