The Woodland Trust has published an Emergency Tree Plan which sets out how the UK can rapidly increase tree cover to help reach net zero carbon emissions and tackle the declines in wildlife.
The document claims that annual rates of woodland creation need to be more than doubled, starting in 2020, and challenges governments to design and fund an approach to woodland creation that addresses both the climate and nature crises together. It says, ‘An emergency increase in resources is required to help national and local government deliver on Government tree pledges across the UK.’
Dr Darren Moorcroft, CEO of the Woodland Trust, said, “Tree planting rates are the lowest in decades, and 1 in 10 wildlife and plant species is under threat from extinction. Disease and pests have taken hold and risk wiping out millions of our native trees. Never has the picture appeared bleaker.
“We’ve seen a lot of talk about trees and that is welcome but we’ve yet to see the action that is required. We’ve left ourselves a phenomenal amount to do in a very short space of time. The moment of crisis has come and action needs to be taken this year.
“Our Emergency Tree Plan, which outlines what needs to be done to increase our tree cover to help tackle the climate and nature emergencies and to help the UK reach its targets for net zero carbon emissions. Government needs bold policies and local authorities and landowners need the support to act swiftly and of a scale to expand tree cover across the UK. I can’t stress enough that we can’t be here, in the same position next year for all our sakes.”
Photo credit: Woodland Trust / YouTube