This November welcomes National Tree Week, with events going on around the country to celebrate this vital component of the ecosystem
It’s National Tree Week this month. Who knew?
Trees are all around us: from providing resources for books and furniture to supplying our atmosphere with oxygen, we couldn’t live without them. But despite how much we use trees in our day-to-day lives, do we ever stop to think about protecting them?
In a bid to urge people to do exactly that, the Tree Council runs National Tree Week every November, this year falling between November
24 – December 2. The week’s history dates back to the 1970s, as Margaret Lipscombe, a programme director at the council, explains.
“It started off with the ‘Plant a Tree in 73’ campaign, which was a massive effort to repopulate the country after the landscape had been stricken by Dutch Elm Disease. The government decided that it needed to get everyone together to do tree planting, and it’s gone on from there.”
The week will see organisations from across the country come together to encourage the protection of our woodlands. The Woodland Trust is holding its first ever Tree Charter Day on November 24, and certain National Trust properties across the country are also getting involved.
The UK is populated with billions of trees, but the risks they face are stacking up. Natalie Stephenson from The Woodland Trust explains that various pests and diseases are posing a constant threat to tree health, such as Ash Tree Dieback, which is seriously depleting numbers of ash.
She adds: “We’re closer to deforestation here in the UK than ever before, with the government failing to reach tree planting targets year on year.”
Sara Lom, the chief executive at the Tree Council, also comments: “There’s a lot of challenge with funding, because local authorities don’t have the budget that they used to have to employ tree officers.”
National Tree Week is therefore needed more than ever. Fortunately, our younger generation seem to be ecologically forward-thinking, and Sara is optimistic about the future of the tree.
“I think it’s fantastic that now, part of the national curriculum at primary school level is the seasons, for example,” she says. “Young people in general are very
‘We are closer to deforestation here in the UK than ever before, with the government failing to reach tree planting targets’
environmentally aware of the world around us.”
For those who are keen to help to protect our woodlands all year round, the Tree Council has a network of 8,000 tree wardens across the country, who work to conserve trees on a daily basis. The warden scheme brings together people from all walks of life, with the shared interest of helping the wonderful woodlands around us. “Tree wardens can be anyone, with any level of knowledge,” says Margaret Lipscombe.N
Tree wardens hard at work