So, why do we need trees? It’s a good question and perhaps not as obvious as you’d think. This guide will take you through some of the reasons why trees are so crucial for humans and the natural environment and how important they are to our everyday lives.
UK forests currently cover 12% of our land area. This is very low compared to some of our European neighbours. For example, France and Germany have forest cover of 29% and 32% respectively. Of Europe’s total land area, forest cover makes up 47% of that. The UK is seriously lagging behind and must improve.
Without further ado, let’s go through some of the reasons why we need trees.
Our earth has an amazing ability to maintain a natural balance and trees are a central component of this.. Trees are able to remove excess carbon dioxide (CO2) from our atmosphere and convert it into oxygen (O2) via a process called photosynthesis. They take in CO2 and water and when combined with suitable light conditions they produce glucose, and oxygen that is then released into the atmosphere. They are vital in ensuring that our atmosphere remains oxygen-rich
To combat climate change
Global warming is heavily linked to increasing levels of CO2. When CO2 builds up in the atmosphere it creates a ‘greenhouse effect’. This is where CO2 traps heat from the sun, creating a warmer climate.
The earth has always followed natural cycles of climate change, but we now know from geological records that increasing CO2 levels are the biggest influence. In this current period of climate change the main driver for increasing CO2 is human activity. As trees specialise in removing excess CO2 from our atmosphere there has never been a more important time to ensure that we plant more and protect what we have.