>> Sam Burnside: Welcome to the Faughan Valley, a magical place that's given writers like me so much inspiration. It's the trees that help to make this landscape so beautiful. They provide us with one of the great dramas of nature but they're also vital to our lives on this planet. And trees can solve many of our climate challenges. Trees are amazing they absorb carbon dioxide providing us with clean air. And they reduce erosion preventing problems like flooding. The Woodland Trust works so hard to establish new woodland, and it restores and protects our existing woods and trees.

>> Rosie Irwin: Trees can resolve many challenges for people and for nature. Many wildlife species are in decline. and on the brink of extinction. Trees and woods can be a part of that solution. And for people woodland can improve our mental health and help us escape the rigors of daily life and the pressures of the pandemic.

>> Sam Burnside: The Woodland Trust carries out vital work planting millions of trees around the UK each year. And at campaigns to protect and repair ancient woodlands. Hundreds of volunteers helped to transform the landscape. The Trust has planting projects in the Glens of Antrim and The Mournes. As well as in Faughan Valley. Their biggest woodland creation project is at Aughrim Hill with around 100,000 trees.

>> Ian McCurley (Director, Woodland Trust : We're so lucky in Northern Ireland, we live in a beautiful rural countryside. Some 70% of our countryside is in agriculture however. We're the least wooded country in Europe at a mere 8% of woodland cover. That compares to England at 13% and the European average at 38%. So, we really are lagging behind. To tackle the climate crisis the UK government has set a target of 19% woodland cover. That's a really big ask. That means planning 30,000 hectares a year between now and 2050. Yeah so it's massive. We're a small country but we can play our part with the support of everybody around us. The Woodland Trust protects trees, plants trees, and invites people in that enjoy themselves in our woods. We're the only organization that does this. No one else speaks and protects woodlands like we do. We need to plant more trees and woods in Northern Ireland for people, climate, and nature.

>> Sam Burnside: The Woodland Trust wants the landscape to become more resilient to the pressures of a changing climate. Dave, how can trees help the landscape?

>>Dave Scott: Trees clean the air we breathe, they clean the water we drink, they are the building blocks to a resilient landscape. Connecting habitats including woodland but also store carbon and fight climate change. Alongside woodland creation, The Woodland Trust works hard to protect ancient woodland.

>> Michael Topping: We're just across from the new A6 which is being built across the river. We're trying to remove this Rhododendron because it's essentially an invasive species that'll take over the native habitat and smother out all of its important life. It's important that we get all of it out because rhododendron's extremely invasive. And it'll re-sprout from any stumps that we cut it back to. So, we need to get it all otherwise it'll regrow again and take over the whole woodland.

>> Sam Burnside: Every tree counts in this battle against climate change and The Woodland Trust would really appreciate your help in the fight for trees and for the future of our planet.

You can help by joining The Woodland Trust to plant whatever you want whether it's a whole wood or just even one tree in your own garden. We can all make a difference. Thank you.

Tune into BBC NI this September to find out from the Woodland Trust how you can play your part in the fight against climate change.

Community Life allows local charities to raise awareness of their activities and campaigns.

Watch the entire programme on the BBC.

The appeal was filmed at Brackfield Wood in the Faughan Valley, an area of outstanding natural beauty and fragmented ancient woodland, stretching along the river from Oaks Wood to Killaloo Wood.

Award-winning poet Sam Burnside MBE, whose poetry adorns the literary trail at Brackfield Wood, narrated the short film. He speaks about the inspiration behind much of his work as well as explaining the benefits of trees.

Field vole with acorns

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