Wherever you turn at the moment there is energy for tree planting. Tree mania, we have heard it described as. It is all to often motivated by a well-intentioned but naive attempt to 'offset' carbon emissions. Planting trees is really important, necessary even, but it is not an alternative to reducing/eliminating carbon emissions. It is additional to that. Indeed we need to plant many million trees in Gloucestershire just to offset the reduction in tree numbers that will come about as a result of Ash Dieback!
Tree whips take years to get ready for planting, then the trees then take many more years to sequester any serious amount of carbon. Many more trees need to be planted than will exist at maturity, and ongoing management of the tree is all too often underestimated or not considered. A more natural approach to woodland creation, allowing natural regeneration to occur, is often overlooked. Similarly, there are other land-use changes which can reduce net carbon emissions for lower cost whilst delivering more co-benefits, such as wetland creation and grassland reversion.
The GLNP is working hard to ensure that best practice is followed when undertaking tree projects. As part of this aim, we wanted to share a document, produced by Joe Middleton from the Woodland Trust, which demonstrates the different plastic-alternative tree guards on the market at present, as trialed at a project they have in Bath. Thanks for sharing, Joe!
The GLNP are producing a Tree Strategy which will be based on a principle of 'the right tree in the right place'. While this is being prepared, we would like to point you in the direction of another Woodland Trust document, their Emergency Tree Plan for the UK.
Finally, if you are in Stroud District and are interested in getting involved in growing trees, either by volunteering, supplying land, funding the acquisition of trees, creating a tree nursery or anything else, please get in touch with Claire at Stroud Valleys Project. She is doing great work coordinating a team of volunteers, matching supply with demand and getting trees in the ground! http://www.stroudvalleysproject.org/ The GLNP hopes to, in time, scale-up Clare's great work to deliver a county-wide coordinated approach to woodland creation and tree-growing.
This image shows some native trees, predominantly Oak, being planted by Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust to sequester carbon and reduce flood risk in the Cotswold District.