It’s a fact that the sad state of the UK’s tree cover makes us one of the least wooded countries in Europe. Deforestation (yes, it’s happening here too) has left this ‘green and pleasant land’ with less than 12% woodland cover, whereas the rest of Europe enjoys an average of 44%. In England that figure is only 8.6% with 5.8 per cent being broadleaf. Despite this, levels of woodland creation with broadleaved trees have halved in the last six years. This is incredible given the prominence of deforestation on the world stage, and the growing awareness of the many agendas trees and woods can deliver across. There’s change in the air though, the government could double woodland cover in the UK with your support, as part of our call to make this the priority action in the forthcoming Natural Environment White Paper.
Woods and trees matter to everyone because they are vital in securing our future quality of life! The Trust is calling on the government to adopt a target of doubling native woodland cover in the UK over the next fifty years in this important national consultation. Please add your voice to ours by sending a “Dear Defra” email and help to ensure our life-support systems are part of ‘shaping the nature’ of England. More details about how and why we want to see this happen can be found here.
Doubling native woodland cover involves protecting our existing woods and trees, buffering and restoring our ancient woodlands and plantations and planting trees and creating new woods all around the UK. Cooperation between the public, private and voluntary sectors will make a vast difference and with added political leadership we can really see our goal turned into a reality. The Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly have both made far-reaching commitments to increase woodland cover and the Coalition Government in Westminster recently announced a national tree planting scheme. But having the doubling of native woodland cover enshrined as a target in central policy will ensure it is part of the long-term strategy for the natural environment. This opportunity comes around but once every twenty years. We need you to show your support for trees and back up our call – please will you take our quick action today?
What do you think about our call to Government? What do trees and woods mean to you? Please comment below, and share this with your friends!