When Did You Last Plant A Tree?

When did you last plant a tree? With November 30th being Tree Charter Day and the Woodland Trust planning to plant 35,000 trees on that day alone, here is a chance for you to consider what you can do to help.

Why bother? As the Woodland Trust says ‘as well as absorbing carbon, trees help to deal with the effects of climate change, stemming flooding, reducing pollution, sheltering livestock and nurturing wildlife’. So whether you are a farmer, councillor, run a business or have a large or small garden, this is for you to think about. And whilst big trees are great, even the smallest garden can accommodate an Amelanchier, Clerodendron or Acer. Alternatively you can sponsor the planting of a tree via the Woodland Trust. Jody Scheckter, ex Formula 1 racing champion who now lives in the UK says ‘A house without a tree is just a building site’. To back up his words he has planted 130,000 trees and 8 miles of hedgerow.

On the positive side some Wenvoe residents have applied for and should shortly be receiving packs of trees from the Woodland Trust. The Government has pledged to reach ‘carbon net zero’ by 2050 which could mean planting 30 million trees a year. Cornwall Council has pledged to plant 80 square kilometres of saplings with £1.7 million committed for the first phase. South Gloucestershire Council will be planting up 1,400 parks, verges and other green spaces with 14,000 broad-leaved trees. 2 million saplings will be planted in the Northern Forest north of Leeds thanks to a collaboration between Leeds City Council and the Environment Agency. It would be good to read in What’s On what the Vale of Glamorgan Council are planning on doing.

You will be hearing more in the coming months about the Environment Wales Act which is increasing pressure on government bodies, including Community Councils, to take account of biodiversity. But we have seen (and reported in What’s On) that there can be a huge difference between the pledges and commitments and actual delivery. England and Wales are woefully behind their own existing tree-planting targets and whilst we have praised Scotland for planting more than all the other UK countries combined we have now realised that these are mainly conifers and their own planting of broad-leaved trees is minimal.

This is a major issue for the decades to come and it is worth noting the words of Greta Thunberg who has considerable support from the youth of today:

‘You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you’.

So gardeners, teachers, publicans, quarry operators, farmers – here is an opportunity to make a difference. Plant a tree and (as the Welsh Government advises) if you cut one down, replace it with 2 or 3 new ones.