We can all see the change that’s happening around us, from needing to trim our lawns at Christmas to spotting frogspawn in our ponds in January. Warmer temperatures and milder weather means natural occurrences are happening earlier every year.
This can have serious implications for many of the things we love, from playing football to chocolate to ancient trees. Climate change will impact everything around us, even the smallest details of our everyday lives. We need to see recognition of this in action taken by government. We’re pleased to see the Government’s forward thinking in its recently released Clean Growth Strategy, especially in relation to trees.
There are recommendations for accelerated tree planting to meet the targets set out for 2020. This could result in a 16% increase in tree cover. This would be part of plans to establish a new network of forests in England, including on farmland and for recreation. The strategy also recognised that woods in the UK provide services worth £2.3 billion per year to the economy. Trees are necessary for approaches to climate change as they can play a huge role in addressing the challenges, such as those from emissions and flooding. And of course we support getting more trees in the ground!
The nature we love is at the forefront of the change we are seeing. Flowers are blooming earlier, birds are migrating at different times and insects are emerging ahead of time. This can have catastrophic impacts on the balancing act our ecosystems have to play. If a species emerges too early or late for its food source, it could starve. In our tendency to seek order, we have stamped a date on the official start of spring. But nature doesn’t follow this arbitrary human schedule.
This February we’re asking everyone to help us track the effects of climate change by recording the signs of spring they see around them on our online form. This will help us understand when spring really begins and how we can help our wildlife in the face of change.