Habitat & Biodiversity

Our goal is to work with others to to protect and enhance the variety of our community’s existing natural habitat as well as to create more woodland for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Trees are the ultimate carbon capture and storage machines, and the entire woodland ecosystem plays a huge role in locking up carbon.  A young wood with mixed native species can lock up 400+ tonnes of carbon per hectare in trees, roots and soil. Trees also  assist in preventing flooding, filtering pollution and keep soil nutrient-rich.

It’s important to plant trees in the right places to ensure that people and wildlife benefit as much as possible. We need to pool our local knowledge to guide this process.

WNZ would like to identify local community areas where it would be possible to plant new trees and hedges. We are particularly interested in working with young people, and local community groups (such as schools, Scouts and Guides) can help to design and plant new tree planting schemes through our contacts with the Woodland Trust.

Other recent good news includes awarded a National Lottery grant of £2.8M awarder to the Charnwood to support new projects to protect and enhance our special local landscape. The five-year grant will involve over 80 sites across Charnwood Forest, including locations in and around our parish.  The project includes habitat restoration, improving paths, bridleways & cycle routes, a training & grant scheme, arts projects and volunteering opportunities. We hope to contribute practical ideas on how local people can get involved to help achieve maximum benefits for all.

Background

Our view is that the natural environment is for more than just absorbing CO2 to combat climate change. It is also about preserving and nurturing our environment to support a bio-diverse ecosystem for the benefit of all. Although we have concerns about measuring our natural environment in terms of money, the UK government has defined its value in terms of timber production, carbon sequestration, flood protection, pollution removal, noise reduction and recreation. These are called ‘ecosystems services’, and the map below shows ONS values for England’s woodland ‘socio-economic benefit’

The map shows Charnwood (circled in red) compared with other English local authorities. Although some of the variations are related to differences in the urbanised areas and agricultural use, we can see scope for improvement in our natural habitat value, staring with ‘grass-roots’ initiatives within our own community. 

Contact Us

Please get in touch with us to find out more about all these exciting opportunities.

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