We had a highly successful exhibition stand at the Local Government Association annual conference in Manchester from 2nd to 4th July.
Centrepiece for us was the launch of a new Woodland Trust report ‘Healthy trees – healthy places’ which highlights the many benefits of trees for communities to inspire local authorities into positive action.
The report, written by our Senior Conservation Adviser, Mike Townsend, collates a wide range of research which states the potential benefits to local authorities investing in the natural environment. It also highlights a number of positive steps that both local authorities and individuals can take to green their local communities.
One of the Woodland Trust’s key aims is to increase woodland cover across the UK from its current figure of 13%, which compares poorly to the European average of 44%. By working with landowners, schools, communities and local authorities the Trust has already planted millions of trees in urban areas.
We offered conference delegates a free crab apple or birch sapling and these proved incredibly popular, with stocks almost exhausted by the end of the conference. Another feature of our stand was an “ideas tree”: delegates were asked to write on a cardboard leaf why trees are important to them. At the end of the conference all the leaves were put into a prize draw. The winner was Cllr Mary Malin of Kettering Borough Council, who won a garden makeover kit, kindly donated by corporate sponsors, Ronseal.
We tweeted some of the best put forward by delegates using the special LGA Conference Twitter hashtag #lgaconf13. Here is a selection:
Trees are important to me because…
“Without them we would not survive”
” They are a huggable bit of mother nature”
“they create a restful environment”
“trees are the lifeblood of our society”
“a source of awe and wonder”
“trees are the lungs of the World”
During the conference Woodland Trust staff spoke to over 200 conference delegates, including 12 council leaders and 6 chief executives. We hope to arrange meetings with many of these people after the conference to discuss how we can help them plant trees and create more woodland in their local communities. If you are a councillor or council officer and would like to talk to us about creating more woods in your community…..please do get in touch!
Nick Sandford , Regional and Local Government Officer (North East and North West England)