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Climate change is threatening our planet and will be this generation’s biggest challenge to overcome. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that global temperatures need to be kept from rising by more than 1.5⁰c – we’ve already passed 1⁰c. We need to act now. The UK has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, but how can we achieve this?

As a small business, Walkgrove already has a sound environmental awareness and has made a commitment to the environment through our best practice. We fully comply with all legislation and actively reduce our impact by:

  • Minimising waste, through reduced consumption and recycling
  • Reducing energy use, through education and awareness as well as the use of energy efficient technology where appropriate
  • Procuring products and services that are recycled and contain minimum packaging, where possible
  • Training staff on the implementation of our policies.

Walkgrove also offers a flexible homeworking arrangement as well as the utilisation of public transport for travel to meetings where practical, thus reducing vehicle emissions. With more and more employees across the country being given the flexibility of home working, fewer cars on the roads is a welcome and unexpected result of the pandemic.

But what else can be done to help tackle climate change? Not only do we collectively need to reduce our emissions, we also need to find a way to reverse the damage already done. There is a simple and inexpensive tool we have to fight climate change: trees.

Through photosynthesis, woods and forests absorb atmospheric carbon. A hectare of forest can absorb over 400 tonnes of carbon! Not only this, trees can also fight current impacts of climate change, including flood prevention and reducing pollution in cities. Trees are our greatest weapon in the fight against climate change, but just 13% of UK land is covered by trees – compared with an EU average of 37%. We need to plant more trees and protect the ones we already have.

During lockdown, with some time to spare now I wasn’t commuting, I joined a local community group whose sole aim was to plant trees in my local area. Unbeknownst to me, the best time to plant trees is in winter, when they’re dormant and not in active growth. This is how I ended up spending most weekends (in the depths of a very cold winter) outside, covered in mud and planting thousands of saplings. Several planting sessions were abandoned as the ground was frozen solid! We also had to adhere to local lockdown rules, meaning very small groups working in shifts. In spite of this, in that first planting season, we planted nearly 2000 young trees between 6 people. Such an amazing achievement and something I felt very proud to have been part of!

This year, National Tree Planting week runs from November 27th – December 5th. Our community group will be working alongside our local secondary school to plant 2500 trees on one of their school fields. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get children and the local community involved in tackling climate change, with the added bonus of adding more beauty to our village.

This winter, wrap yourself up warm, grab a spade and join in! The Woodland Trust offers free trees for schools and communities, and they’re really easy to apply for.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”  ― Chinese Proverb

Reference link: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/how-trees-fight-climate-change/

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