The Woodland Trust aim to plant 50 million trees by 2021

In an ambitious new initiative, the Woodland Trust has launched The Big Climate Flightback to tackle climate change, and are calling on the public to plant more trees.

Looking up at a tree canopy/Credit: Getty Images

In 2019 the Woodland Trust planted more than 4 million trees, but The Big Climate Fightback aims to dwarf this achievement by planting a staggering 50 million trees over the next 5 years in a bid to combat the ever-pressing threat of climate change.

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The charity is sending more than 600,000 free trees to community groups and schools this autumn, along with an initial Emergency Tree Fund of up to £1m to help local authorities increase tree cover in their area.

The Fund will initially be offered to 12 local authorities as part of a pilot scheme, and if successful, could be rolled out further.

The Woodland Trust is urging the public to join them in their fight to tackle climate change by planting trees this autumn.

However, if planting trees isn’t possible, people can still participate by lobbying their local politicians on green issues, donating money to the campaign, and sharing support for the initiative on social media to spread the message.

Covid-19 has hit the country hard in many ways, including tree planting, which was down 30% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to 2019.

To combat this, the Trust is calling on millions of people to plant trees throughout November to support the biggest mass-planting campaign ever seen in the UK.

Two young boys tree planting/Credit: Wood Trust, Phi Formby
Two young boys tree planting as part of a Woodland Trust campaign/Credit: Wood Trust, Phi Formby

In 2019, the Government stated that it was committed to planting 50 million trees each year until 2050 to achieve net zero carbon — but the results are yet to be seen, as The Trust’s CEO Darren Moorcroft argues: “A year on from many big promises and statements about the need for more trees in order to achieve carbon net zero by 2050, they mainly remain just that, words.

“Our role in tackling the climate crisis won’t rest — we know the clock is ticking and we must act now,” he continues.

“Trees are nature’s most powerful weapons in the fight against climate change. Together we can achieve remarkable things and I ask people today, please do your bit, join our climate change army, plant a tree in November, use your voice for trees and woods, support our cause and help us to continue our collective Big Climate Fightback.”

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For more on the Big Climate Fightback 2020, visit woodlandtrust.org.uk/bigclimatefightback, follow the campaign online #BigClimateFightback