Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Woodland Trust and its Very Important Trees >>> coming to Sidmouth's 'tree summit' Friday 27th November

Tomorrow evening sees a gathering of groups involved in the care of trees in the Sid Valley:
Futures Forum: Sidmouth Tree Summit >>> Friday 27th November

One of the contributors will be the Woodland Trust which owns a fair amount of the woods around Sidmouth:
The Woodland Trust

One particular project of the Trust is its VI Trees:
VI Trees in England - Woodland Trust

In fact, there is an ongoing campaign to look after these:

Celebrate and protect the UK's Very Important Trees

What is Scrapbook?


Elephant tree (photo Ted Green/WTPL)
An official register will classify, celebrate and protect the UK's nationally important and best-loved trees.
Our oldest trees are natural miracles. These majestic specimens can live for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years and support an incredible amount of wildlife. They share a unique bond with people, nature and the landscape, and are a vital part of our history and heritage. Imagine the amazing stories they could tell!
These are our Very Important Trees (V.I.Trees), better known as Trees of National Special Interest.
These living monuments make an important contribution to the nation which needs to be officially recognised and protected, just as our historic buildings are.

Show your support for a national tree register

Planning and forestry are devolved matters across the UK so there needs to be a list or register in each nation.

Click on your country below:


Northern Ireland



In partnership with Country Living magazine.

Very Important Trees - Add your voice to the campaign - Country Living

The Woodland Trust is not afraid of courting controversy.

For example:
England's Tree of the Year, Cubbington pear, to be cut down for HS2 - Telegraph
Ancient pear tree in path of HS2 rail route wins Woodland Trust prize | Environment | The Guardian

Woodland Trust at loggerheads with Highways England over A21 Tonbridge to Pembury improvement works - News - Kent News

The Trust has a new chair:
Farming News - Woodland Trust announces appointment of new Chair Baroness Young
The Big Interview: Woodland Trust knows that life is better with trees - Grantham Journal

Earlier this month, the Trust published a report it commissioned on the value of trees, as reported in the Telegraph:

Woodlands worth £270bn to UK economy

A report by consultancy Europe Economics has valued the worth of Britain’s trees and woodlands for the first time

Aerial view of River Thames, Buckinghamshire
Forestry issues aren’t just about rural areas – cities could also benefit from new woodland Photo: Getty
are worth £270 billion to the UK economy, according to a Europe Economics report for the Woodland Trust.
Economic benefits brought about by woodland include flood reduction, public health benefits and decreasing air pollution.
The value of woodland in flood management in the upper Thames alone is worth between £350 and £500 per hectare annually, according to the report. It also estimates the value of trees in improving air quality could be as much as £240 per hectare a year in related health benefits.
Report co-author Dr Andrew Lilico, of Europe Economics, said: “It’s a big figure. But the question we are grappling with is, ‘How do you unlock that value?’”
Beccy Speight, chief executive of the Woodland Trust, said: “It is very important that we are involved in the thinking behind this kind of economics.
If you don’t pay your electricity bill you will be cut off. There is nothing like that for woodland ecosystem services
“Lots of people will say that nature is all about intrinsic value, and will question whether we should get involved in trying to place a financial value on what it provides. But we need to be a part of the conversation which is trying to make difficult choices.”
Dr Lilico and Ms Speight were speaking at a one-day conference at the University of Birmingham on funding for woodlands and trees, chaired by business journalist and broadcaster Adam Shaw.
The key theme of the conference was the need to find new funding models. Traditionally, funding for woodland conservation has come from grants, corporate partnerships and individual donors.
At the heart of the debate is the importance of natural capital – the world’s stock of natural resources that creates a long-term supply of goods or services.
The concept of natural capital enables economists to value so-called ecosystem services such as flood prevention and air quality.
Ms Speight said it was vital that the Woodland Trust took the concept of natural capital and “made it real”. Prof Rob McKenzie, of the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, said that his organisation recently received a donation of £15 million to create a state-of-the-art research facility in Staffordshire for studying the effects of increased carbon dioxide on trees.
80 per cent of the British population lives in urban areas, yet many people view woodland issues as being about rural areas
He added: “This is the kind of donation that comes along once in a lifetime so it is vital that we do something for the future.”
Prof David Maddison, chairman of the economics advisory panel for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural affairs (Defra), said there were three potential funding solutions that could help highlight the economic value of woodland: first, for the Government to provide subsidies for trees and woodland; second, to create regulations that stop woodland sites being developed on; and third, to find ways of excluding people from their benefits if they refuse to pay.
He described the challenge facing woodland as “excludability” – people who do not want to pay cannot be forced to pay. He said: “If you don’t pay your electricity bill you will be cut off – which provides a powerful motivator. There is nothing like that for woodland ecosystem services.”

More trees for cities
There were repeated calls to locate new woodland in and around cities and not just the countryside. About 80 per cent of the British population lives in urban areas, yet many people view woodland issues as being about rural areas.
Bringing more trees into cities would, it was argued, improve health, add value as green, leafy areas are more desirable to live in, and make businesses there more appealing for employees. While there were significant funding challenges, Ms Speight concluded that she felt optimistic about the future.
She said: “I feel positive because the context is changing so fast. This kind of natural capital thinking gives us the language by which we can make better policy choices. It needs to be driven by people.”
Read about the Europe Economics Seminar in a blog by James Cooper, head of government affairs at the Woodland Trust »
To find out more, go to woodlandtrust. org.uk/treedisease »

Woodlands worth £270bn to UK economy - Telegraph

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