Climate change impacts woods and trees
The trees that line our streets and gardens. The hedges that adorn our countryside. The woods where we walk. They provide and purify our air, clean and encourage water storage, give our wildlife homes, lock up carbon and make our landscapes green and beautiful. Simply by being around them we feel happier and healthier. Ancient woodland invokes a sense of wonder whilst hosting centuries-old ecosystems that cannot exist anywhere else. But the biggest long term threat to these benefits, and the trees, woods and wildlife themselves, is that posed by climate change.
It can exacerbate the likelihood of pests and disease, result in loss of synchrony in the workings of ecosystems’ and species’ competitive advantages, it may cause habitat fragmentation and changes in species’ ranges and it will mean our natural world is less able to adapt in its battle for survival. Ancient woodland, as a habitat made up of unique delicate ecosystems, is particularly vulnerable. They are irreplaceable special places that can never be compensated for once they are gone.
The Trust is working to address climate change and its impacts. We aim to increase resilience of natural ecosystems within urban and rural areas to climate change. We promote the role of trees and woods in mitigating the impacts. We raise awareness of the issues and encourage personal action, such as planting trees. As an organisation we continue to reduce the Trust’s own impact on the environment.
In February, green hearts will be worn far and wide across the UK to ‘show the love’ for the special places and cherished memories that could be lost to climate change this Valentine’s Day. From football clubs to rock bands everyone is getting involved. Here at the Woodland Trust we know that some of our special places and most cherished memories involve the beauty and adventure provided by trees, woodland and their wildlife, so for them we will be showing the love.
Heart, woods and trees
Don’t lose what you love climate change just because no one knew you cared. Show that you care about special places like ancient woods and wise old trees for The Climate Coalition’s Show The Love nationwide event.
Create a green heart to wear, share or show. Whether its crochet, card or a drawing we’d love to see your creations, share them on social media with #ShowTheLove and #TreeCharter. Get some inspiration and print-outs to use from the For the Love Of website.
Do you have a story or cherished memory of a tree? Could it be threatened by climate change? You can share your own story by writing it on a green heart and hanging it on a tree. Why not go one further? Tell us your story online by the end of February and help build a Charter for Trees, Woods and People.