1 million people need to plant trees, to meet UK targets

We all heard Greta’s call for nature-based climate solutions, and planting trees is something simple we can all do. But how can we plant enough to actually make a difference? We all need to plant one tree.

This week, the Woodland Trust is launching the UK’s biggest tree planting campaign, the Big Climate Fightback. It aims to get over a million people to pledge to pick up their spades ahead of a mass planting day on 30 November.

Backed by celebrity ambassadors including Bake Off’s Sandi Toksvig and TV presenter Clive Anderson, the campaign is a response to the Government failing to meet its commitment to create 5,000 hectares of woodland a year. Just 1,420 hectares were planted in England in 12 months.

Plant trees to fight climate

The targets are based on the Government’s Committee for Climate Change’s call for a three-fold increase on current woodland creation levels – that’s 1.5 billion trees – in order to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

But while the Government is slow to act, British people are ready to get digging. Darren Moorcroft, Chief Executive at the Woodland Trust, says the campaign is responding to calls from the public for a practical way they can help fight the climate crisis.

“Most people are aware of the race against time in terms of climate change and planting trees being part of the solution – they absorb harmful CO2 and produce vital oxygen. But we are not planting anywhere near enough.

“The Big Climate Fightback is about inspiring people of all ages and backgrounds and providing the chance to take direct action – they have to simply go to our website and pledge to plant a tree, whether it’s in their back yard, neighbourhood, school or at a nearby planting event. It’s an easy way for people to do their individual bit for climate change as part of a mass movement.”

But he warns that planting trees will not solve the crisis alone: “As individuals we all need to do more, much more, to reduce our impact on the planet by cutting emissions and reducing pressure on resources.”

How you can get involved in the Big Climate Fightback

  • Pledge to plant a tree
  • If you work with young people, inspire them to plant trees
  • Businesses are urged to ask employees to get involved
  • Communities can influence landowners like local authorities to let them start digging
  • The public can attend planting events hosted by The Woodland Trust and partners on 30 November
  • Share the call on social media using #EveryTreeCounts

By 2025, the Woodland Trust hopes to have planted a tree for every person in the country. All of the trees provided will be sourced and grown in the UK and will be native broadleaf varieties, such as oak, birch and hawthorn.

Greenhouse advocates natural climate solutions and recently launched a seminal research paper on behalf of the Crowther Lab. The paper revealed that there is potential to increase the world’s forest land by a third without affecting existing cities or agriculture. Once mature, these new forests could store 205 billion tonnes of carbon. This is about two thirds of the 300 billion tonnes of extra carbon that exists in the atmosphere today.

If your organisation is pioneering natural climate solutions and needs help to get the word out, please get in touch with the Greenhouse team on 0117 214 1250 or email info@greenhousepr.co.uk.