Through the successful Jubilee Woods Project, the Woodland Trust has encouraged members of the public to plant trees and learn why they are so important to help foster a more widespread appreciation and love for our natural environment.
2012 not only saw Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but also the 40th anniversary of UK based Woodland Trust. The woodland conservation charity’s Jubilee Woods Project marked the occasion throughout the year and, once completed, will see over 6 million trees planted across the country, creating hundreds of new woods.
These woods range from tiny community woods consisting of a few hundred trees all the way up to the 460 acre Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood in the heart of England’s National Forest in Leicestershire. The project has involved a whole range of people from all walks of life; schools have planted free tree packs in their grounds, universities have created woods on campuses and landowners like the National Trust have created huge woods across its estate. The Queen herself has even planted trees on her Estate, with woods being created at Sandringham in Norfolk and Balmoral in Scotland.
The reason behind planting 6 million trees is simple: the UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with just 13% woodland cover. The European average is 44%. One of the Woodland Trust’s key aims is to increase woodland cover across the country, by protecting what is left, restoring precious ancient woodland to its former state and creating new woods. In total the Woodland Trust has planted over 16 million trees and has involved millions of people in its tree planting cause.
These trees will create new homes for wildlife and help link up existing pockets of woodland to encourage species to spread and colonise across the country, increasing their chances of survival. The Woodland Trust manages a number of its woods to benefit wildlife and as a result has helped dormice, great crested newts, water voles and barn owls flourish, amongst many others species.
Not only do the trees benefit wildlife but also lock up carbon, produce oxygen and, if planted in the right areas, help prevent flooding and mitigate against increasing temperatures.
The Woodland Trust is a selected partner of this IUCN project.