South Downs national park has announced that over 28,000 trees are being planted across the South Downs in memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth as a hopeful new report reveals the huge potential to fight climate change with woodland creation.
This comes as National Tree Week (26 November – 4 December) is getting underway. Scores of trees are going into the ground at more than 30 sites across the South Downs National Park. Last winter over 12,000 trees were planted at the park, with a further 16,000 this coming winter, as part of the Trees for the Downs and Queen’s Canopy initiative.
The study covered just over 439,000 hectares (all of Sussex plus Hampshire’s portion of the National Park) and found almost 23,000 hectares is highly suitable for creating new woods, around five per cent of the land area. Of that, around 5,500 hectares lie within South Downs National Park. The potential new area of woodland, twice the size of Manchester and could store up to 37,667,500 tonnes of CO₂ after 100 years.
This research was led by the National Park Authority, Sussex Nature Partnership and Woodland Trust.
Sonia Lorenzo-Martin, who oversees woodlands in the National Park, said: “These life-giving trees are a fitting tribute to the memory of her late Majesty and all her years of public service to the country.”
“This new research is very significant. It shows that we have the potential to create a major carbon sink in the South East of England that can help spearhead Britain’s fight against climate change. Around a quarter of the South Downs National Park is already wooded, so adding to that even more across the region is a very exciting prospect for our nation’s climate action. Every scheme counts and it could be that we help provide a blueprint for woodland creation that’s replicated across the UK.”
To donate to Trees for the Downs, or to make an application for potential tree planting next year, visit www.southdownstrust.org.uk The deadline for applications is 28 February 2023.