Scores of people across the UK donned their wellies and picked up their shovels to plant trees on a mass day of climate change action at the weekend.
The Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback saw kids from as young as four to adults of 94 get digging – planting saplings in parks, fields and gardens across the nation.
One of those taking part was Bella Ramsey of Game of Thrones fame who planted at the Trust’s Mead site near Heanor, Derbyshire where the UK’s first Young People’s Forest is being created.
She said: “It’s incredible to see that so many trees are being planted here. It’s a nice idea because trees take so long to grow that it means we have the opportunity to grow with them, which I think is lovely.”
TV’s The Black Gardener AKA Danny Clarke also got stuck in. He said: “I have a huge personal connection with trees that goes right back to my childhood. I loved climbing trees and over the years have developed a deep bond, a friendship even becoming a tree hugger. They give us life and deserve our compassion and respect.
“As an adult I am drawn to woodlands areas and enjoy walking amongst the trees, feeling the life around me. I sometimes even take a trip down memory lane and climb one!
“The declination of forests across the globe is a huge contributing factor to global warming. We need to rebuild our forests, give our planet the ability to breath. This is becoming critical and that is why I am supporting the Woodland Trusts fabulous campaign – The Big Climate Fightback to plant millions of new trees. I have grandchildren, this is our investment for their future!”
The Woodland Trust’s Chief Executive Darren Moorcroft, who also attended the mass planting at the Trust’s Mead site said: “What a fantastic and inspiring day to see so many people of all ages come together to plant trees. It just shows what can be achieved when it comes to increasing tree cover in the UK. More and more people are waking up to the value that trees could bring in helping to fight climate change.
“The Big Climate Fightback has shown the huge appetite people to take action and with people power behind us who knows what could be achieved in the future.”
Seventeen-year-old Abdul Siddiqi, who is Derby’s Youth Mayor, also took part.
He said: “Growing up, my parents have always taught me to appreciate and take care of nature. As a child I have always been interested in nature documentaries and watching them as a family. Living in an urban area, these documentaries really do provide an insight on a whole different world. Climate change is so much more than just the trees and air pollution, there’s whole ecosystems and species, there’s a whole world of different life affected by it and this is what ignited a passion within me to join the climate fightback and really get involved.
He added: “I want young people to have a wake-up call. Not only inspire them but help them realise that it is our duty as the growing generation to take care of our home, our planet. Being environmentally aware should be as easy as one, two, three.”
As well as communities organising their own plantings and people plantings trees in their gardens, the Woodland Trust also held mass plantings on their land – the public joined to plant thousands of trees at Low Burnhall in County Durham, Smithills, Bolton, Avoncliff, near Bath in Wiltshire, Tring Park in Hertfordshire, Kinclaven in Scotland, Carmoney Hill in Northern Ireland. More than10,000 trees were planting at Mead in Derbyshire, the site of the new Young People’s Forest.
The Big Climate Fightback was launched by the Woodland Trust in September. The aim of the charity was to give people a simple way to make a difference on climate change – simply by pledging to plant trees. In total, during the campaign, it is estimated that up to a million trees went into the ground and more than 250,000 pledges to plant were gathered.