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The National Forest's contribution

The National Forest is helping to reduce the effect of carbon emissions, in a number of ways:

  • The National Forest is indeed sequestering carbon and 'locking it up' for the future.
  • Converting a proportion of land to mixed woodlands and conservation areas will help to create a more resilient landscape and counterbalance the potentially high carbon impact of food production, which is very important for the UK and will remain a dominant land use in The National Forest.
  • We are developing and promoting locally grown wood fuel, providing a useful additional market for otherwise difficult or uneconomic to sell by-products of management (thinnings, pruned branches etc). Wood products, such as fencing and furniture, as promoted by the developing National Forest wood-based economy, also lock up carbon.
  • Fourthly, attractive woodlands for people to enjoy near where they live will provide a healthy environment and the opportunity to participate in leisure pursuits without intensive carbon-producing travel.

In addition to reducing the effects of carbon emissions, woodland and other habitats can help us adapt to the effects of climate change. For example:

  • Woodland created with climate change in mind can serve as a buffer to help ameliorate the more extreme local effects on species and habitats.
  • A mixed, wooded landscape is strong and resilient in the face of climate change, with linked woodland allowing species to migrate to more suitable environments.
  • Trees will filter pollutants and reduce soil erosion by wind and water.
  • Trees can provide shade that moderates temperatures in buildings and reduces energy costs (financial and environmental). Shade from trees in urban areas and school playgrounds will make hot summers more bearable.
  • Selective planting in flood plains can help manage rising water levels and contribute to flood control.
  • Planting specimen trees in parklands will anticipate any loss of older trees from increased storm damage.
  • There are also many opportunities to support environmental education within The National Forest, which creates an increased awareness of the issues and a greater commitment to implement the necessary changes to our lifestyles.

Next: Helping you reduce your carbon footprint

More information

Below is up to date information on key messages from the Forestry Commission on climate change.