Free Trees for community woodlands

24th February 2021

In towns people are replacing real grass with artificial grass, gardens with decking and hedgerows with fence panels. New developments are ripping out hedgerows and boundary trees to make way for new build and access roads.  As Planning gain developers are installing community playing areas and tiny green spaces which are unsuitable to build on gainfully, but that is not enough.

We need more trees and lots more hedgerows for birds and insects and our well being. We all benefit from the seasonal colours of the changing leaves, the sounds of the wind through the same leaves and the familiar recognition or our special local landscape trees, where we grew up and maybe our families before us. The delights of brambling around the hedgerows, watching finches picking berries and hedgehogs scuttling through the undergrowth need to be there for the future. We need to plant more.

If you would like to plant more trees please see this request and let us know about it.

EFORESTS works with wildlife trusts, community woodland groups and nature reserves around the UK, supplying them with free trees to help reduce the carbon footprint to combat Climate Change.  If your group is in need of some trees for a planting project, ideally on publicly accessible land, please complete their Tree Request Form.

Planting a single tree has benefits for people, wildlife and the environment. Those benefits vastly increase when planting a whole woodland.

Trees are a precious natural asset and, as a natural carbon sink, are a vital part of the fight against climate change. Woodlands and forests will play an important role in the UK’s efforts to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Walking in the forest. | Spurwing Agency / Unsplash

“We all know that urgent action to tackle climate change is needed.”

If you manage nature reserves / community woodlands / community farms, integrating trees can bring huge benefits – and there’s no need to take large areas out of production.

Trees help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink, and boost biodiversity, provide shelter, prevent soil erosion, reduce flooding and much more.

Here are the six pillars that explain why trees are vital:

CLIMATE

Trees help cool the planet by sucking in and storing harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into their trunks, branches, and leaves — and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere. In cities, trees can reduce ambient temperatures by up to 8° Celsius. With more than 50% of the world’s population living in cities — a number expected to increase to 66% by the year 2050 — pollution and overheating are becoming a real threat. Fortunately, a mature tree can absorb an average of 48 lbs of carbon dioxide per year, making cities a healthier, safer place to live. 

AIR

Trees help to clean the air we breathe. Through their leaves and bark, they absorb harmful pollutants and release clean oxygen for us to breathe. In urban environments, trees absorb pollutant gases like nitrogen oxides, ozone, and carbon monoxide, and sweep up particles like dust and smoke. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide caused by deforestation and fossil fuel combustion trap heat in the atmosphere. Healthy, strong trees act as carbon sinks, offset carbon and reducing the effects of climate change. 

WATER

Trees play a key role in capturing rainwater and reducing the risk of natural disasters like floods and landslides. Their intricate root systems act like filters, removing pollutants and slowing down the water’s absorption into the soil. This process prevents harmful waterslide erosion and reduces the risk of over-saturation and flooding. 

BIODIVERSITY

A single tree can be home to hundreds of species of insect, fungi, moss, mammals, and plants. Depending on the kind of food and shelter they need, different forest animals require different types of habitat. Without trees, forest creatures would have nowhere to call home.

SOCIAL IMPACT

From arborists to loggers and researchers, the job opportunities provided by the forestry industry are endless. We don’t just rely on trees for work, though. Sustainable tree farming provides timber to build homes and shelters, and wood to burn for cooking and heating. Food-producing trees provide fruit, nuts, berries, and leaves for consumption by both humans and animals, and pack a powerful nutritional punch. 

HEALTH

Did you know that hospital patients with rooms overlooking trees recover faster than those without the same view?

It’s impossible to ignore that feeling of elation you get while walking through a calm, quiet forest. Trees help reduce stress and anxiety, and allow us to reconnect with nature. In addition, shade provided by tree coverage helps protect our skin from the ever-increasing harshness of the sun. 

While EFORESTS prefer to work with nature reserves / community woodlands / community farms, they can possibly supply trees for private landowners that you work with too.   Or any community projects that you’re aware of.

If your group is in need of some trees for a planting project, ideally on publicly accessible land, please complete their Tree Request Form.

 

Unsplash Madison Nickel

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The legacy of Ethel’s vision and determination lives on thanks to the continued efforts of the Friends of the Peak District, and she remains an inspiration to everyone within CPRE