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Good News: Earthwatch is planting trees in the UK for biodiversity

BY Alice Gawthrop

15th Dec 2022 Good News

Good News: Earthwatch is planting trees in the UK for biodiversity

As Christmas approaches and Christmas trees come down, Earthwatch offers the opportunity to sponsor the planting of a new tree with the Tiny Forest initiative

Earthwatch Europe’s Tiny Forest initiative is dedicated to increasing biodiversity and enabling people to reconnect with nature through citizen science. Since planting the first forest in 2020, the movement has grown to almost 150 forests, resulting in increased biodiversity and carbon storage.

Is planting trees really good for the planet?

"Biodiversity needs to be a key consideration for reforestation"

This can happen when trees are being planted with the express purpose of carbon storage to offset carbon emissions by, for example, big companies—the trees planted for this purpose aren’t always native species. The planting of nonnative trees can lead to monocultures that cannot support life.

Biodiversity needs to be a key consideration for reforestation, but this doesn’t offer the financial returns of planting for carbon storage or timber markets, so it can often fall by the wayside. 

What is Earthwatch Tiny Forest?

Earthwatch’s Tiny Forest is based on the Miyawaki method for forest management, which uses trees native to the area and replicates natural forest regeneration processes. Tiny Forest enhances biodiversity and mobilises volunteers to monitor the forests and their benefits, allowing people to reconnect with nature.

Tiny Forest volunteers

Photo courtesy of Earthwatch Europe

It is estimated that 50–60 million Christmas trees are produced and cut in Europe annually. In the run-up to Christmas, Earthwatch’s Sponsor a Sapling campaign offers the chance to sponsor the planting of a tree for £8.

Josh Kubale, Senior Communications Manager at Earthwatch, says, “We’re delighted with the Tiny Forest Sponsor a Sapling campaign, which will help people engage with what we’re doing at Tiny Forest and gives the option of an alternative and environmentally conscious Christmas present. As well as being a great Christmas gift, the campaign will help to fund Earthwatch’s work across all our programmes. We’ve now planted 160 Tiny Forests and as we celebrate our third anniversary next year, we hope to plant many more!”

If you’d like to sponsor a sapling, either for yourself or as a Christmas gift for someone else, you can do so here.

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