Posts Tagged 'Woodland Trust'

SERIOUS MONDAY: UK’S ANCIENT WOODLANDS UNDER THREAT

 

As regular readers will know, I’m a tree person 🙂

And although I must admit that I rarely hug them, a forest walk is a great delight.  I’m lucky to live in an area with lots of trees – and they provide an ever-changing picture from virtually every window in our house.

(Sadly of course that does mean non-stop collection of fallen leaves at this time of year but I’m bagging them this time and saving them to use in the garden).

Trees play a huge part in the life of our planet  – from offsetting carbon emissions and helping in the fight against climate change, to providing shelter for birds and animals and producing fruit, medicines and food.

And in the words of Archie Miles (author of The Trees that Made Britain), trees provided the foundation of our nation’s heritage.

So I was really concerned to read the results of a survey carried out by the Woodland Trust which shows that over the past decade, we’ve lost 100 square miles of ancient woodland in the UK.

That’s the equivalent of an area around the size of Birmingham – and represents 5 per cent of the remaining ancient woodland we have left.

Following 12 months of research, the trust has discovered that half of the ancient woodland we had in the 1930s has already been destroyed or degraded. HALF of our traditional woodlands – gone!

Ed Pomfret from the Woodland Trust says the UK’s ancient woodland is our equivalent of the rainforest – and irreplaceable. 

Some woodlands have been around since the Ice Age and woolands are the most valuable space for wildlife – and home to more threatened species than any other habitat.

And although in theory, ancient woodlands are protected, there are loopholdes in the system that allow them to be destroyed if a developer can prove “economic need.”  That would never happen with a building of architectural importance – and preserving our trees is just as important. (Many woodlands were around long before any of the buildings that we now describe as ancient.)

The trust’s research shows that the biggest threat is from new roads, followed by utilities and power lines but airport expansion and leisure facilities also pose a threat.

And it says we need to protect our woodlands from further damage because we can’t rely on official bodies to do it for us. So it has set up a campaign called WoodWatch which uses the eyes and ears of the public to stop the destruction.

WoodWatch provides people with information and resources to help save threatened woodland in their area. You can find out more here. You can also locate and update the trust on threats to trees through its interactive map and you can find out about wood under treat NOW in your area by following this link. 

At the moment, the Woodland Trust is involved in over 400 cases of trees under threat in Britain.

Do what you can – trees are SO important 🙂

Susan

SERIOUS MONDAY: RECYCLING CHRISTMAS CARDS TO PLANT TREES

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The Woodland Trust hopes to plant 24,000 trees by recycling 100 million Christmas cards in January.

That’s an awful lot of cards folks – so make sure you help the trust to reach its target by recycling your cards at WH Smith, TK Maxx, Marks & Spencer or Tesco. (Some stores are excluded from the scheme but you can get full details here (http://www.woodland-trust.org.uk/cards/ ))

Last year, the trust recycled 93 million cards so with a little more effort, hopefully it will reach the 100 million mark. You can drop off your cards at the store recycling points any time between January 3 to January 31 and you can also request posters to let other people know about the scheme.

(Apparently, if you recycled just one Christmas card it would save enough electricity to allow five people to watch the Queen’s Christmas day message next year. Amazing!)

Susan

LAZY FRIDAY: YOUR GREEN CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE GIFTS

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An excellent idea that does away with packaging is the huge range of “experience” gifts now available online – from hot-air ballooning to golf – so if you know someone who would enjoy it, that’s an excellent gift. There are a number of companies offering the balloon experience for around £100 so Googling should produce something good for your area.

It looks brilliant, but I must admit I prefer to stay on the ground 🙂 so we’ve arranged a family treat in the form of a snowboarding session at the local outdoor centre over Christmas. It’s worth checking out local leisure centres and clubs for gift activities such as a climbing wall session or a family bowling trip.

Whenever possible, look for experience gifts that will produce income or benefit for a worthwhile cause – that way your gift is even more valuable.

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You could also look at the wide range of adoption gifts that are available to raise money for charities and wildlife organisations.  For example, the Marine Conservation Society offers the chance to adopt-a-turtle. For £25 you can adopt a leatherback turtle – the largest of the marine turtles – which is critically endangered. Leatherbacks migrate to UK waters each summer and the society says your support will help it to make UK seas safe for these gentle giants.

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They also stock a range of stocking fillers such as turtle rulers (50p) made from recycled computer printers and pens (30p) made from recycled paper.

If you are looking for a wider adoption range, check out the WWF website where you can adopt an animal, including this Asian elephant called Kiruba,  from £2.50 per month. (You can also arrange a dolphin talk for a class of schoolchildren from £25.)

If you’d prefer to do a good deed closer to home, the Dogs Trust offers the chance to sponsor a dog for £1 per week and this makes a great gift for a child who can’t have their own four-legged friend.  Sponsors receive the trust’s magazine, Wag, and you can visit your dog online to catch up on his progress. 

Or you could sponsor a donkey here for £15 per year and your donation helps to fund riding therapy for children with special needs and disabilities.

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If animals aren’t really your thing there are many other options you could look at such as a year’s membership to an organisation like the Woodland Trust for £33. The trust dedicates a recently planted native tree in the member’s name and sends out a welcome pack.  

There are lots of opportunities online to adopt-a-tree and often, there is a chance to get involved in the planting. Adoptatree.co.uk allows you to buy a one-year adoption from £9.99 or you can adopt for three years for £25.

And if you know someone with a love of the outdoors then a gift membership of the Ramblers Association (£27 or £36 for two people at the same address) is a great idea. As well as a wealth of walks all year round, they receive a guide book and magazine.  But please note that today is the deadline for applications for Christmas gifts. If you buy after today, the pack might not arrive before Christmas.

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Gift membership is also available from the RSPB and includes free entry to more than 100 RSPB nature reserves around the UK.  Yesterday was the deadline to ensure Christmas delivery but hopefully it might still arrive in time. If not, you could just type out the gift benefits and promise it will arrive soon 🙂

It costs £32 for one adult or £42 for two.  There’s also a great junior member gift offer which I’m buying for my youngest.  As well as free entry to nature reserves, she receives posters, stickers, an activity logbook and membership card – as well as a special magazine and either a free stationery set or organiser. All for £14 !!  (I think I might treat myself to membership at the same time for £2. 67 per month.)

Susan