Not a day goes by when we’re not reminded of the impact we humans are having on the Earth and the environment. And with more and more of us taking our carbon footprints into our own hands and making daily changes to our lives to create less waste, use less fossil fuels and even changing our diets – I thought we’d go back to basics and find out why the trees, forests and woodlands around us are so important.
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After all, we want to leave a sustainable future behind for our children to enjoy, don’t we?
Trees are helping us combat climate change
It’s true! All the excess carbon dioxide that we emit from our cars and other air pollutants, builds up in the air causing things like climate change, odd weather patterns and things like smog. Trees absorb this excess Co2, removing it from the atmosphere and in turn, release oxygen back into the air for us to breathe. Isn’t that amazing? If you have an acre of mature trees, then those trees would in fact absorb the amount of Co2 released from driving your car 26,000 miles within a year! Incredible!
Trees and their health benefits
You probably won’t even realise, but trees are protecting us from harmful solar radiation – acting as physical barrier between us and the sun. Many British trees also have medicinal properties such as the Birch tree, whose bark has antiseptic properties.
Studies also show that if you visit a green, leafy area with lots of trees and shrubbery – within minutes your heart rate will start to calm, and your blood pressure will drop too – making a trip to a wooded area a great stress reliever!
Trees can boost your property value
Sounds crazy, but homes with leafy, well planted trees can raise property value and the value of those around them!
We all know that trees provide the perfect home for birds to nest in. But did you also know that trees actually provide complex microhabitats?
When trees are in their younger stages they provide the most perfect place for wildlife to live, for fungi to thrive and for insects to multiply! When trees mature, and they hollow, they’re ideal for bats, owls and other large creatures.
A sense of community
Trees have a unique way of bringing diverse communities together, whether it’s a communal, urban garden, sprawling parkland, a tree planting event or something else. Trees can provide a sense of community and belonging, and also improve the quality of life in neighbourhoods.
Think of all the apples that can be grown in your community garden trees. These can be harvested, sold and profits put back into the community. Opportunities in green waste management, career prospects in gardening and tree surgery. Tree planting and maintenance is a great way to get local youth groups thinking about Green career paths.