The National Trust has today (9 January) unveiled one of the UK's biggest woodland expansion and tree planting projects in an ambitious plan to become carbon net zero by 2030 as the charity celebrates its 125th anniversary.
In a landmark speech to mark the milestone, the National Trust’s Director General Hilary McGrady has announced a series of new initiatives including 20 million new trees in ten years as part of the charity’s plan to step up the battle against climate change.
Locking up carbon by maintaining precious peat bogs, investing in renewable energy and reducing the Trust’s carbon footprint are among the measures to hit the net zero target.
Plans to unlock green spaces near urban areas, a year-long campaign to inspire people to engage with nature and address a ‘worrying disconnect’, as well as new plans for culture and heritage programmes have also been announced.
The charity has vowed to continue work to reverse the decline in nature through a range of projects, including helping clean up the nation’s rivers and waterways, reintroduce species and repurpose land in favour of woodland and carbon sequestration.
Hilary McGrady said: “It’s our 125th year and the National Trust has always been here for the benefit of everyone. That is why we are making these ambitious announcements in response to what is needed from our institution today. As Europe’s biggest conservation charity, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to fight climate change, which poses the biggest threat to the places, nature and collections we care for. People need nature now more than ever. If they connect with it then they look after it. And working together is the only way we can reverse the decline in wildlife and the challenges we face due to climate change.”