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Planting Trees, Growing Community Across the United Kingdom

by Gabrielle Clawson June 08, 2023 3 min read

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Planting Trees to restore Ancient Woodlands and Engage Communities

With rolling hills and dramatic coastlines that are imbued with history, the UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe — a stark contrast to the glorious forests that once covered the island. This is due to a range of factors, including deforestation driven by agriculture, industry, and human settlement, global trade, technological developments, transport links, and climate change. Although the Woodland Trust's State of the UK's Woods and Trees report found that there is more forest cover in the UK today than at any time in the past 100 years, ancient, ecologically important woodlands continue to be lost.

We work with key reforestation partners in the UK to restore degraded forest land, engage communities to plant trees in local woodlands, increase habitat connectivity for wildlife, and more. From growing community forests to getting young people getting involved, let’s take a look at some UK projects that helped strengthen and empower communities!

4 Impactful Reforestation Projects In The UK

1. Re-Greening Scotland

Community is at the heart of this project. By working to re-green Scotland, this project focused on land owners that want to make an environmental and community impact but aren’t sure where to start.

This project aimed to restore over 100 hectares of private land, utilizing the strength of communities to help get trees in the ground. It is designed to have cascading benefits, including natural, social, financial, and inspirational returns. By restoring land that was previously degraded by fires and desertification, and reintroducing native flora, we aim to restore water tables, prevent soil erosion and degradation, create soil carbon sinks, and encourage a thriving ecosystem where native fauna can take refuge.

By teaming up with local partners and communities, from nurseries to smallholders to ecological professionals, we can provide them with crucial funding, visibility, and support that, for many of them, could make a massive difference, especially during such harsh times.

With the help of our planting partners and other volunteers, this project has brought across a message that uses trees as a means to create communities, raise awareness, and support the education of people.

2. Boosting Native Woodland Connectivity at Loch Ardinning in Scotland

With over 11,000 native trees planted, this project will help to restore natural habitat across a wildlife reserve, improving biodiversity and climate stability.

In addition to these environmental impacts, the surrounding community will see benefits. 

Loch Ardinning is a popular visitor-friendly wildlife reserve that is within easy reach of the major  centers of greater Glasgow, Bearsden, and Milngavie. It is a picturesque wildlife haven of around 150 hectares, with wetland, woodland, grassland, and moorland areas. This project will help improve the visitor experience of the reserve, but it will also provide important environmental educational opportunities

3. Empowering Young People Through Tree Planting in Wales

Young people are tomorrow's leaders, often front-lining the climate fight. This project planted 25,000 mixed species of native trees across about 10 hectares of land. The mix of tree species was chosen to help provide food and shelter for a range of species, including birds, insects, and other wildlife.

Not only will these trees help make an environmental impact, they will also be planted with the help of many students from local schools. Allowing students and young people to be involved in such a lasting impact will only empower them to do more.

4. Community Forest Restoration in England

Nothing says community like a community forest! This project aims to bring together communities, landowners, and community forestry to help restore local forests in an impactful way.

By planting trees across almost 2,000 hectares of land, this project will help improve climate change resilience, increase public access to woodland areas, enhance biodiversity and wildlife, and so much more!

With each environmental impact from this project, there is also a community and social impact nearby. Local community members' engagement, health, and well-being were at the forefront. Over 11,790 community members came out to help get trees in the ground.

Ready to Plant Trees for Community? Here’s How You Can Get Involved.

Getting communities involved in tree planting not only helps the environment but also creates a range of powerful social impacts. You can help make an impact by planting trees today!

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Gabrielle Clawson
Gabrielle Clawson

Gabrielle helps with fundraising and marketing, working with peer-to-peer fundraising as well as business fundraising. With experience in both women's rights and climate change organizations, she has a strong passion for non-profits and is excited to make an impact in the world through environmental change!