The climate on Earth has altered because of human activity – see the “Science” menu option (link here) for explanation. This alteration will cause severe climate change which will make life very difficult for humanity. Unchecked, this will mean severe weather patterns, rising sea levels, a severe shortage of food and fresh water and a large number of climate refugees. This would almost certainty lead to widespread conflict. And not just minor conflict; the starving are not going to leave you alone while you have food.
There is time to undo the worst effects of this; lesser effects are already unfolding. Many of those versed in soil science think that we have only 60 harvests left before our soil becomes unable to provide food. Since the problems are being magnified by greenhouse gases, then the immediate need is to minimise those gases. The switch from burning fossil fuels to using renewable energy, predominantly sunlight, wind, water and geothermal is important, but the most urgent is the need to plant more trees to fix more airborne carbon in the earth (called sequestering).
We need an enormous number of trees. So many that it will change the shape of agriculture, because we need the land for the trees. But there is no alternative apart from the disaster scenario outlined above.
In the UK, 13% of our land is woodland. In Europe it is 37%, slightly higher in the rest of the world. This means that in order to catch up we need to plant 5,000 million trees. After that we can all plant to fight climate change together.
This is a massive undertaking. It will need millions of volunteers. The hope is that schoolchildren will join adult volunteers in school-based groups around the country. If you wish to join us, or want to allow others to plant on your land, then please let us know via the form on the Contact Us page (children will need parent/guardian’s consent).
Types of Tree (but see Soil &Trees)
As the climate changes there will be drier and warmer summers. This will result in a deficiency of moisture in the soil. This will reduce tree growth, particularly on sandy free-draining soils, and also heighten the risk of fire.
Autumn and winter will be wetter, causing greater water table fluctuations. This will limit rooting depth and reduce tree stability on exposed sites. Beech and yew woodlands are likely to grow in different areas. Beech is a regenerating component of many oak woods.
Assuming high emissions continue, then the following are the most suitable trees by region (forestresearch.gov.uk):
SE England – Pedunculate Oak, Sweet Chestnut, Wild Cherry and Norway Maple.
SW England – Beech, Pedunculate Oak, Sweet Chestnut, Wild Cherry, Aspen and Norway Maple.
E England – Pedunculate Oak, Sweet Chestnut, Wild Cherry and Norway Maple.
NW England – Beech and Wild Cherry.
Yorkshire & the Humber – Beech and Wild Cherry.
Data Source – Forestry Commission
These are the optimum, but the needs of biodiversity are such that many other types will be needed. See Biodiversity here.
The situation in 2021, according to BBC, is here