The UK Government has created a new scheme, called the Woodland Carbon Guarantee, ‘to help boost tree-planting rates in the fight against climate change’.
The launch of a new scheme to encourage more trees is to be welcomed. ‘For the purposes of the Woodland Carbon Code, we define woodland creation as the human-induced conversion to woodland of land that has not been under tree cover for at least 25 years. The woodland can be established by planting, direct seeding or natural regeneration.’ This is a positive move as it allows more natural woodlands to be created, rather than restricting funding to conventional planting schemes.
Formal tree-planting is usually associated with the use of tree stakes (to support the tree) and tree guards, which are usually made of plastic, and many thousands of these already litter the countryside. Also, as someone who has planted many trees, even when we try our best, humans end up planting trees in a less natural arrangement then if we simply leave nature to get on with it. Planting schemes usually mean that the trees are all of the same age, and also trees are still imported into the UK for planting, and this can bring its own problems.
When we allow natural regeneration to take place, the tree seeds find the best places to grow and will establish themselves overtime and new areas of scrub and woodland will develop. Also, when natural processes are allowed to occur then the trees and other vegetation will establish in a more natural way. In doing so, mixed habitats and a mixed age structure are created, which are more sustainable and more beneficial to nature and wildlife overall.
The Vegan Land Trust welcomes this new funding to help create new woodlands. More info, can be found on the Woodland Carbon Code website.
Post updated – 5 November 2019