In the wake of deforestation, Digital Editor Halima Ahad discusses national initiatives to revive rainforest environments in the UK

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Deforestation has damaged national and international environments massively. According to Global Forest Watch, between 2010 and 2022, 22.8 million hectares of tree cover were lost. BBC Science Focus reports that one tree equates to 100kg of oxygen per year, therefore, trees produce more oxygen than we could ever imagine. With deforestation comes detrimental effects, including on human life, so the removal of trees is more damaging to us than we realise. 

However, work in north Devon in England can change the course of this for the better. The National Trust has proposed plans to revive Britain’s lost rainforest, and create masses of woodland to make up for those which have been lost to the damaging course of deforestation. According to its press release, they will be planting over 100,000 trees this winter to regenerate hectares which have been lost. As this has been one of the UK’s most endangered and wooded habitats, the new proposal can be seen as a source of good for the UK environment. 

[The National Trust] will be planting over 100,000 trees this winter

These rainforests are known as temperate rainforests; they are characterised by their constant wet climate and are home to many unique wildlife and plants, including rare ferns, pine martens and stoats. However, due to the devastating rise of deforestation, the temperate rainforests have slowly deteriorated, which has largely harmed the flora and fauna of the UK.

John Deakin, Head of Trees and Woodlands at The National Trust, spoke about how the new plan to recreate Britain’s lost rainforest will benefit the UK’s environment for the better: ‘[…] but by planting on the edges of these existing woodlands, we can ease the pressure caused to the existing delicate vegetation and instead help the woodlands evolve outward for the future’. Deakin shows how the plan could follow suit to more environmentally beneficial proposals in the UK.

The plan could follow suit to more environmentally beneficial proposals in the UK

Reviving UK environment schemes has stretched as far as the Isle of Man and northwest Wales, such as the restoration of the British Isles rainforests in the Isle of Man and Wales. The plan proposed 28 hectares of its native tree species would be planted, and a further eight hectares left to regenerate naturally. The National Trust scheme of the ‘Plant a Tree’ fund, which launched in 2020, has planted over one million trees with funding of £2.8 million and the completion of 51 projects. Community involvement with the scheme has also meant groups within the community are able to contribute to benefit the environment for the better, including primary schools.

Overall, the schemes are shown to be beneficial to the UK’s environment; they provide potential for the development of correctly-habituated flora and fauna. 

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