The COVID-19 lockdown in the United Kingdom hasn’t slowed down the population’s interest in joining the climate battle by planting trees, and so far, more than a million have been planted.
“There’s been a positive response, much better than I was anticipating,” says Bob Samson, member of the local climate-change group in the Yorkshire Dales. “We’ll be planting trees including oak, sycamore, birch and rowan, which will be tailored to relevant sites and will benefit both the climate and the environment in terms of landscape and wildlife.”
The Woodland Trust is seeing firsthand the growing interest from schools and community groups for whom it offers a free trees scheme. Last year, a total of one million trees have been sent out. This year, the Trust is due to send out more than half a million saplings for spring.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), noticing a surge in interest since the pandemic, offers people to plant trees in memory of those who have lost their lives to the virus. So far, 500 trees have been planted. The RHS has put up an online map to track where the trees are being planted. In Somerset, some 2,000 fruit trees have been planted across five sites as part of the Food Forest Project. “It’s like an awakening,” says Kay Clark, community development manager at the RHS. “Once people start to become community-minded or start to grow things, that’s not something that leaves you. It becomes part of your life.”