The National Trust has planted thousands of young saplings in areas across the UK as part of its ambitions to attract more wildlife, create new homes for nature, protect landscapes prone to flooding and to help in the fight against climate change.
The conservation charity has planted 60,000 trees over recent months, despite the coronavirus pandemic, kickstarting plans to plant and establish 20 million trees across England, Wales and Northern Ireland by 2030.
Other areas will be set aside for natural regeneration with fenced areas to limit grazing by livestock.
With a focus on planting the right trees in the right places and minimising any release of carbon through soil disturbance, several projects are underway in Wales, the south west, south east, north of England and Northern Ireland.
The rate of planting will also now be able to accelerate after an initial planning phase thanks to nearly £500,000 in public donations with the charity’s ‘Plant a Tree’ campaign, and the conservation charity has identified sites for a further 1.5 million trees to be planted over the next couple of years.
John Deakin, head of woodland and trees at the National Trust said: “The first two years of our 10 year plan was always going to be about doing the research and scoping out the right places to plant and establish trees – to try to ensure we maximise in balance the benefit to nature, regenerate landscapes or creating new woodlands near urban areas. Taking this time to plan means ensuring we avoid areas where trees might damage important existing habitat, or actually release carbon from certain soil types, like peat.”