So why plant trees?
We have just three decades to achieve net zero carbon emissions.
South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and all Local Authorities in South Yorkshire have declared a Climate Emergency and consider carbon capture through tree planting an important tool in meeting their carbon zero targets.
As well as absorbing carbon, trees have multiple benefits;
- As climate change occurs we will have more extreme weather events. Rainwater entering rivers quickly can cause flooding. As part of natural flood management, trees help delay and ‘slow the flow’ to reduce the risk of floods.
- Nature has been under increasing pressure and the tragic loss of wildlife has been extensively reported. Planting woodland will help provide homes to plants and animals. As woodland cover increases, it will link up over the landscape, building ‘wildlife corridors’ to help nature move and survive.
It’s not just nature that benefits, humans rely on trees to survive;
- Woodlands create oxygen as well as absorbing carbon, which helps protect soil, improve water and air quality so our environment is cleaner, cooler and quieter.
- Woodlands are homes to animals that eat pests and pollinate our crops.
- Public health benefits from woodland spaces. Access to nature encourages activity and improves our physical and mental health. As a result, money spent on improving green spaces for nature and people saves the NHS money and can also support local health initiatives such as social prescription.
- Woodlands and trees will support disadvantaged communities at a local level by improving access to environmental benefits and quality of life. By giving us socio economic benefits, communities can be happier, healthier and more cohesive with a sense of place.
- More trees means a significant economic advantage, improving the places we live and work. They increase property values, create green jobs and inward investment.
During the lockdown more and more people discovered how much they rely on and appreciate our greenspaces and countryside. Woodland creation and tree planting can help address health and inequalities as well as jobs and the economy. All of which are affected by biodiversity and climate change, natural capital and ecological services.
More information on why it’s important to plant trees can be found here.