In the UK, the Environment Act became law in November 2021. This is the start of a process for the Government to set new environmental targets. Which in turn means that the government is currently asking for public views on which new environmental targets it should introduce. The Woodland Trust is saying that every target proposed needs to be improved if they are to make a real difference.
The UK is a really nature-deprived place. Much of our biodiversity is under threat. It helps if people make it clear that we want a natural landscape, that we want trees and biodiversity. Trying to squeeze maximum profit out of every landscape makes for a terrible environment – for humans and wildlife alike. It isn’t sustainable, or viable and we need long term thinking about regeneration.
One really good thing we could do is to enlarge and reconnect existing woodland. Planting trees isn’t actually enough to create ‘woodland’ because a wood is considerably more than its trees. We need all the other plants, the insects, birds, mammals, etc. We need the life of the soil, the fungi especially. Planting new woods often doesn’t do that. Connecting existing woods gives all those other vital species the chance to spread.
Habitat fragmentation is a massive problem. Little pockets of beings who are cut off from their wider gene pool cannot flourish for the longer term. We need green corridors, and we need to make connections between fragments of trees in the landscape.
If you’d like to help, there’s guidance for what to say on the Woodland Trust website and it doesn’t take long to make a few helpful points.