Oak tree standing alone in a field with mist and sunrise

Conservation ‘the end goal’

Who doesn’t love a tree? This is a learning experience for us all, so implementing changes locally is fundamental to taking back some control over matters which seem to be at a government level. Conserving your local habitat is easy, focus on areas for plant and conserving and find areas for planting native trees. Parks, commons and schools.

Picture above by Simon Wilkes, oak tree in Richmond Park, London

Walk on the rewilding side

Rewilding means to restore (an area of land) to an uncultivated state (used especially concerning the reintroduction of species of wild animal that have been driven out or exterminated).

Any small patch can be rewilded. Meadow plants, commonly known as weeds, are loved by all pollinating insects. The best thing is, it’s free. You can blend your own mix of meadow plants by foraging for existing dry grasses and seed pods whilst you are out and about walking. You only need a palmful to get you started. You can find some super plants and even a tree, growing randomly amongst your flower beds, thanks to a passing pigeon or sparrow. 

There is still a shortage of large native canopy trees such as oak, chestnut, alder, elm, maple and ash. And with the necessary destruction of large areas of ash due to ash dieback – the mark on our countryside is substantial. It’s certainly worth exploring what might be making roots in-between cracks of a neglected alleyway. 

Trees are the lungs of our planet, they have a significant impact on our local air quality, plus being home to many creatures. And as the atmosphere warms – trees are a staple source of shade from our sun’s harmful rays. There is a shortage on broad leave trees. Trees take decades to mature, so the loss of these mature trees have a significant impact on tree canopy cover. Whilst some trees in the UK are protected under a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), these trees are under threat from disease due to the mild winters.

It is also worth noting if you deliberately destroy a protected tree or damage, it in a manner likely to destroy it, you could be fined up to £20,000 if convicted in a magistrate’s court. For other offences, you can be fined up to £2,500. You will also normally have to plant a new tree if the tree was cut down or destroyed.

Not sure if your tree has a TOP? You can contact your local council. And if you think your tree needs help – you can contact a recommended arborist.

New tree planting is critical to creating plenty of tree cover for future generations. To ensure Fareham retains its existing levels of tree coverage re-planting needs to take place continuously throughout the borough. Newly planted trees require specific maintenance during their initial establishment period.

Picture below by Claire Turner, 84 By The Shore in Portchester, Hampshire, grow plants and trees for the community to rewild in their town.

Protect And Restore

Due to the range of underground services, competition for space, limited soil volumes, poor soils, pollution, insurance claims, safety audits, vandalism and the impacts of climate change establishing young trees, is a challenge for local councils.

To sustain a diverse, resilient, and healthy tree population it’s important to replace any trees removed by the local council – by the following growing season. Young tree maintenance is crucial to the survival of a newly planted tree. Trees have to be well suited to the planting location, plus meet the challenges of climate change, pests and disease, whilst harnessing biodiversity.

Are You A Grower?

Perhaps you have space for a tree – it’s well worth considering. Do you have a garden patch to nurture acorns into saplings? These can be transported and grown into larger areas later. Every small space helps. Together we can all protect and restore nature and create an urban forest. 

Benefits Of Urban Trees

Trees add immeasurably to the quality of life in our towns and cities – here are some of the key benefits:

  • Shading

  • Evaporative cooling

  • Interception and capturing of airborne pollutants (particulates)

  • Interception and storage of rainfall

  • Storage of atmospheric carbon

  • Soil conservation

  • Biodiversity / wildlife habitat

  • Commercial / economic, and

  • Improving human health and wellbeing

Discover More About Trees Here:

woodlandtrust.org.uk

Pictured below by Dan Freeman, maple in autumn at Westonbrit Arboritum. Beech Avenue, Dorset, England in summer by Richard Loader.

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