Studies by the Woodland Trust have shown that the loss in ash trees through Chalara disease could be fatal for the wildlife and surrounding landscapes. Trees are a major part of the eco system, providing habitats for small mammals, birds and insects, as well as providing fresh air for us to breathe. Ash trees also help to enrich the soil and make for better, more cost effective local produce, benefitting everyone. Other European countries have up to 30% native woodland coverage, but when compared with England’s 10%, it is clear that this is an important issue that must be addressed. Through a mapping scheme, the Woodland Trust have been able to take a look into the future, in order to see the effects it would have if trees are lost from the countryside. They have mapped 280 million trees and concluded that even minimal tree loss would cause a massive impact on the surrounding environments if the problem is not solved in a pro-active manner. This information has led to a plan being formulated to combat the problem and save the trees in our precious countryside. 1000 subsidised ‘Disease recovery packs’ will be provided in conjunction with a £4.5 million investment to target the ash trees infected by the deadly disease. These packs contain 45 trees from a mixture of 5 native species and advice on planting tailored to the specific area. Schools, communities and youth groups also have the option to apply for free trees to plant in areas accessible to the public, in order to help with the movement and raise awareness. Why not get involved with the help of our handy garden tools and accessories and start planting! Logo courtesy of Woodland Trust Photo courtesy of Roger Kidd under Creative Commons
Tagged with 'Trees'
The new tree mapping system i-Tree will help us show the economic value of our ecosystems, leading to increased awareness, support and funding. Treeconomics is the social science that looks into the contribution trees pay to the environment and human wellbeing, not only looking at the economic value but also the cultural and health benefits. A company that also call themselves Treeconomics are behind bringing i-Tree to Britain, which could be the saviour of our cities, where the tree decline has been astonishing, and if left to continue could be fatal to the ecosystem. The i-Tree maps system measures the overall economic value of the trees. The mapping system records every tree in the area with specifics on each of them, allowing us to see the overall canopy coverage, contribution to pollution reduction, carbon reduction and the health of the trees. Trees are an incredibly important part of our ecosystem - they can reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer and lower heating costs in the winter, as well as improving the quality of the air, improving healthcare and providing a habitat for wildlife. This survey was first trialled in Torbay, showing incredible results. It showed the trees perform great ecosystem services, with the trees taking in 98,000 tonnes of carbon and 50 tonnes of air pollution - this is the equivalent to removing 52,000 cars from the road. With an overall worth of around £3 million, the trees are a massive part of the environment and ecosystem that would cost an estimated £280 million to replace. Another survey has also shown that neighbourhoods plentiful in trees are an increasingly pleasant and popular places to live and work. Having trees within cities is vital to aid these matters, however a lack of funding and responsible persons are causing the further decline and disregard of the trees, which in years to come could prove fatal for both humans and wildlife. This is why Treeconomics are so important. The surveys hope to increase the awareness about the tree decline, and encourage cities in particular to be more proactive in saving such a vital part of the ecosystem. London is the next city facing the survey, the most part being carried out by volunteers that are passionate about rescuing the trees. Although the survey is not yet complete, it has already shown that the most common tree in London is the apple tree, and their biggest dependence in London is on the plane trees, which performs 60 per cent of the ecosystem services. Treeconomics could be the answer to improving the living conditions in cities, encouraging wildlife, and boosting the economy. Would you be happier with more trees near to you? Why not take a look at our garden tools and accessories and plant your own? Photo courtesy of Salim Fadhey, under Creative Commons