As part of Tree Week 2019, Bob Chard told us about his experimental woodland growing foreign hardwood trees to assess which ones could be used as substitutes for imported hardwoods.
The UK imports more hardwood for things such as furniture than most other countries if taken on a per capita basis. This creates a market for illegal logging in tropical rainforests. Bob, who has a family history in forestry, is growing foreign species of tree to assess which will thrive in the UK. His work is attracting attention among the forestry community and will pay large benefits in years to come.
Dame Julia Slingo
Sidmouth Arboretum Patron and former Chief Scientific Officer to the Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo gave an absorbing talk about trees and climate change as part of Tree Week 2019.
Dame Julia gave an analysis of data from a range of sources to show that human activity has been affecting carbon dioxide levels for a long time as we have cleared large areas of forest across the northern hemisphere. This effect has been exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels and this is causing wide ranging changes in our world.
However, the talk ended with a note of optimism, Dame Julia told us that things are moving and she believes that things will not turn out as bad as the worst case scenarios. One thing that will help is to plant more trees, lots more trees. Large scale reforestation will not prevent climate change, but it will help to moderate its progress.