The news these days seems to be full of information about the warming of the Earth's atmosphere and the highly undesirable results that could come from it – especially the rise in the sea level. Recently published information suggests that this rise in sea level could reach a dangerous point because the rate of sea level rise is accelerating. Even at the most conservative estimate, they will be more than a foot higher than at present by the year 2100. This is the very lowest of the estimates – should the rate of warming be greater than this, the rise might even exceed a metre. As a consequence, 8 of the World's 10 largest cities will be at much greater risk from storm surges and flooding than they are at present and some island nations may have their very existence threatened.
It is reckoned that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have caused much of the observed increase in Earth's temperatures over the past 50-plus years. All three have been the subject of much research into techniques which will reduce the amounts we produce and, where possible, to enable us to work out how to remove them from the atmosphere. Of all possible ways that Carbon Dioxide can be removed from the air, Mother Nature provides us with one of the best, which is through photosynthesis – green plants using light energy to take water and Carbon Dioxide and turn them into Sugar (their food and the raw material from which all other chemicals in the plants are then made) and Oxygen (which we are able to breathe). The bigger the plants are, the more effect they can have and trees in particular will play a really important role in helping to store Carbon Dioxide emissions.
According to information published by the Woodland Trust, a young wood with mixed native species of trees (such as ours) can lock up better than 400 tonnes of this carbon per hectare in its trees, roots and soil. Our woodland is quite small – Tarvin Community Woodland currently covers rather more than 6 hectares but, even so, this means that our Woodland is helping by storing an impressive 2,400 tonnes of carbon! It is reckoned that the average person in the UK is responsible for at least five and a half tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions each year and it is clear that our Woodland is playing an important part in offsetting these emissions. The trees and hedgerows alongside roads and in gardens and fields are helping, too, as are the plants in our gardens in a relatively small but important way.
There are other benefits resulting from our woodland trees. Not only do they store carbon; they also help to reduce the noise and air pollution which come from our busy A51 Tarvin By-pass. When you then add the benefit to the health of village people which comes from being able to take a woodland walk within the village itself, it is clear that the value of our woodland to the community is huge! Because our trees do such an important job, we need to look after and protect them and Tarvin Community Woodland Trust is committed to doing just that!
To obtain more information about our woodland as a local carbon store, you can visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk