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Eco Blog 4: Incredible Trees

Hey everyone! I hope you all have had a good past week and are enjoying the wildlife of February either on a daily walk or from your window!

This week I will be talking about planting trees and why that is good for the environment. I will also be talking a bit about The Woodland Trust and I also have an exclusive interview with Richard Halls who’s an expert on planting trees. But before that, you might be wondering… Why is it so important?? Well, here are a couple of reasons why.

What are the benefits of planting trees?

1. The environment

Trees help to combat global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide, removing and storing carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air.

They also reduce wind speeds and cool the air as they lose moisture and reflect heat upwards from their leaves. It’s estimated that trees can reduce the temperature in a city by up to 7°C.

2. Wildlife

From birds and insects, to bats and squirrels, trees provide a canopy and a habitat for many species of wildlife. But they don’t just act as a home for wildlife; the fruits from trees provide food for them too.

3. Our health

Trees help to improve air quality by intercepting and trapping dust and other pollutants from the air. The shade of trees also provides a useful barrier to harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. But it’s not just our physical health that benefits, our mental health does too. When surrounded by trees or taking part in nature-based activities, stress and depression levels can be significantly reduced.

4. Our communities

Trees can bring people together. They can act as a landmark within a neighbourhood. They also allow for activities such as walking or birdwatching. In addition, they give children somewhere to play in and feel a sense of adventure.

What The Future Holds

As you can see, humans, animals and the environment depend upon trees for survival. Therefore, as deforestation continues, we must put back what we’re taking away. Planting more trees will contribute to global reforestation efforts; restoring lost forests, repairing damaged ecosystems and mitigating climate changes.

Woodland Trust

The Woodland Trust runs a free tree scheme for community groups. Last year it sent out just over 1 million trees. Covid-19 seems to have increased people’s awareness of climate change and on average 4,000 trees are applied for daily.It is great to see an increase in people planting trees...perhaps you know a community group that might get involved!

Interview with Richard Halls

I talked to Richard Halls who lives in Millbrook and has spent his life planting trees. Here’s what he had to say;

“Winter (January and February) is the best time to plant , when the sapling is ‘asleep’. If you plant in the spring when the tree is growing it can be damaged. Trees can also dry out if you plant later in the year.

Hawthorn is one of the simplest to grow and takes the least room, plus you can cut them back as you need. To grow a conifer, for example, takes much more room and won’t regrow if you cut them back.

Think about where you will plant, and remember every tree makes a difference. You can start in your garden or join a community scheme. The Forest at Marston Vale often holds days inviting people to help out with planting.

To start simply a Hawthorn sapling can cost 66p,then you will need tree guards and canes to help it grow straight and to protect it from rabbits and deer. In all each tree will cost £2 to plant. In my time I must have planted almost 3000 trees.”

Many thanks Richard! Hope that is a little bit of inspiration for us all…see you next week! Best Wishes Chiara xx

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