Plant trees

Tiny Forest (Barry). Credit: ITV Wales
The stark truth is that stopping the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere isn’t enough to keep global warming below two degrees Celsius. We also need to remove some of what’s already there. Don’t just take our word for it: over 100 of 116 scenarios that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has analysed involve carbon removal schemes.

The only solutions that exist today on the large scale needed for scrubbing carbon from the atmosphere are nature-based, such as planting trees.
We don’t need to invent alternative technologies to trees; we need to be inventive in how we grow millions of trees in the UK.

We are familiar with the idea of planting more trees to help combat climate change. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, removing and storing carbon in the form of wood while releasing oxygen back into the air. They also cool the air as they lose moisture and reflect heat upwards from their leaves.

At The Carbon Community in Cynghordy, Wales, they are taking a new science-led approach to reforestation to increase carbon sequestration in trees and soil. In a landmark project near the Brecon Beacons, the team is combining two nature-based solutions in a field trial never previously deployed together at scale, to demonstrate how to capture more carbon more quickly while planting the same number of trees.

The ‘Tiny Forest’ campaign by Earthwatch Europe is an innovative urban tree planting project with the aim of reconnecting people with nature and providing a new nature-rich habitat to support urban wildlife. Each tiny forest is a dense, fast-growing woodland consisting of 600 trees and shrubs planted in an area the size of a tennis court. As more communities and partners get on board, this campaign is well on its way to establishing 150 tiny forests across the UK before the end of the 2023 planting season.

Do you have space for a tiny forest in your neighbourhood to draw down more greenhouse gases and freshen the air locally? There are over 7000 villages, towns and cities in the UK. Almost every one of them has at least one location where a patch of green space could fit or a patch of plain grass where more trees could grow.
Tiny Forest Barry
Start something new…

Earthwatch is actively seeking more visionary sponsors and communities to bring the benefits of a forest right into the heart of our cities and urban spaces. For more information about how you can join in and grow a tiny forest, visit Tiny Forest – Get Involved.

Inspired by nature-based solutions? Check out lots of other biodiversity & nature initiatives.

… or join an existing community project:

The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) is the UK’s leading charity for practical conservation action. One of its flagship projects is the ‘I Dig Trees’ tree planting scheme which has 1 million trees available to give away for free to community groups around the UK. Find out how your community can get hold of some of these trees.

The Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest charity focusing specifically on trees and woodlands, also has trees to give away for free for schools and community groups to plant in their area. They have two periods when the trees are sent out, March and November, with the deadline for applying for trees being approx. 4 months prior to this.

Join Tree Wardens in your area - these are groups of people who plant, protect and promote their local trees. It’s a Tree Council scheme and the organisation provides support and training to the Tree Wardens’ groups. Find out more and if there’s a group in your neighbourhood.

National Tree Week is an annual event in the UK at the end of November into December which sees mass tree planting around the UK. Look out for publicity about any tree planting activities going on in your area during this week and volunteer to help. Or contact The Woodland Trust’s Tree Wardens to find out what they’ve got planned.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be an expert in wildlife or science: a whole range of skills is needed to guarantee the success of projects like these and it’ll also be possible to learn as you go.

Other related community actions: Plant green infrastructure, Restore seagrass, Restore peatlands

What do we mean by community action?