Why the UK needs 64 million new trees...
Did you know that the UK is one of the least wooded places in Europe? Trees are nature’s air and water purifiers, and they need our help. Learn more about our precious trees, the Woodland Trust’s mission to restore UK woodland and how you can help
£270bn = the total value of UK woodland
In 2015 the value of UK woodlands was estimated at £270bn. If 250,000 additional hectares of woodlands were planted near to towns and cities, they could generate societal net benefits in excess of £500m a year.
Forest cover in the UK is just 13% compared to a European average of 37%. Within the UK Northern Ireland has the least woodland cover at 7%
85% of ancient woodland is unprotected
Did you know half of the UK’s ancient woodland has been lost or damaged in the past 70 years? Since 1999, 319 ancient woods have suffered loss or damage, with another 633 under threat. Currently, 85% of ancient woodland is unprotected by government legislation.
8 million trees planted in the National Forest
To date, 8 million trees have been planted in the National Forest, which spans 200 sq miles in the Midlands. By 2100 this programme of replanting is expected to bring an estimated £909m in financial benefits – far in excess of the estimated cost of £188m.
8% – the boost trees give house prices
A Forestry Commission study in Tyneside found that being within 500m of deciduous trees added 8% to property values. The development of community woodland on the former Bold Colliery site in St Helens, in combination with a regeneration scheme, is estimated to have directly enhanced property values in the surrounding area by £15m.
Trees and green spaces make for cooler cities
Heat-related stress accounts for about 1,100 premature deaths a year in the UK. City air can be cooled by between 2C and 8C thanks to informed selection and strategic placement of trees and green infrastructure.
For 88% of people, woodland is a place to relax and de-stress
In a survey for Natural England, 85% of those spending time outdoors said it made them feel calm and relaxed. In another survey, the Forestry Commission found that 88% of people said woodlands were “places where I can relax and de-stress”.
Woodland helps reduce flooding
Modelling around the river Parrett in south-west England found that floodplain woodland could increase flood storage by 71%. In cities, the addition of a street tree could reduce storm water run-off by 50-62% over a one-year period in an area of 9 sq metres, compared with asphalt, according to test plots in Manchester.
UK forests store 595m tonnes of CO2
Besides the CO2 storage of forests, net uptake a year by UK forests is between 9m and 15m tonnes. The Committee on Climate Change’s guidelines are that abatement of CO2 is deemed cost-effective at anything less than £100 per tonne; mixed woodland planted for multiple objectives can deliver carbon abatement at less than £25 per tonne.
"The need for trees" article appeared first on The Guardian