Biodiversity and the Queen’s Green Canopy
Biodiversity is the web of life which connects the smallest bacteria to the tallest tree and the whale, the largest species in the ocean. It is the variety of life forms that we see around us and comprises the whole range of species from mammals, plants, birds to insects. These species reside in ecosystems within habitats and changing a habitat will often affect the diversity of species contained therein.
The importance of biodiversity is that our planet’s essential goods and services depend upon the variety of genes, species, populations and ecosystems. Biological resources feed and clothe us and also provide materials for housing and medicines and spiritual nourishment.
Trees form the part of the natural habitats of many species and what has happened over the centuries is that Britain’s tree cover has diminished through land being converted for agriculture, grazing, transport modes and settlements. The disappearance of trees has reduced the available habitats leading to a decline in species and also trees’ collective ability to take in carbon dioxide to form their biomass.
It is therefore timely that the Queen’s Green Canopy project has been created to celebrate the 70th anniversary of HM The Queen’s reign. Individuals, schools and groups are urged to plant a tree for the Jubilee ‘to create a new network of trees across the length and breadth of Britain’.
All new trees can be added to a virtual map alongside 70 specially selected ancient trees and advice and support will be offered to make sure that the right trees are planted at the optimum time and given the best aftercare to help them establish.
Nurseries and garden centres are good sources of trees while bundles of young trees can be bought from the Woodland Trust which is also offering free 3 million saplings for planting from October to March. Applications for spring planting open from 1 September to 4 January subject to availability,.
For more information go to queensgreencanopy.org and for tree planting advice rhs.org.uk
Neighbourhood Plan Vice Chair