Plants are the unsung heroes of our world, silently working behind the scenes to keep our planet thriving. From the air we breathe to the food we eat, their importance can hardly be overstated. Let's take a look at some of the wonders of the plant kingdom and why protecting plants, especially trees and woodland species, is crucial for our future.

Did you know?

Oak trees help support an incredible 2,300 different species of wildlife!

1. Providing sanctuaries for wildlife

Almost all animal life depends on plants in some way for its habitat. From rainforests to hedgerows and mangrove swamps to scrubland, plants and trees create an immense variety of habitat for all kinds of wildlife. Native trees like oak and birch play a particularly vital role in preserving biodiversity, ensuring that our ecosystems remain vibrant and resilient. 

2. Tackling climate change

In the ongoing battle against climate change, plants are surely our greatest allies. Through the almost magical process of photosynthesis, trees and plants absorb carbon dioxide and release life-giving oxygen, helping to regulate our planet's climate. By planting more trees, we can bolster this natural defence mechanism and help to mitigate the impact of global warming.

3. Nurturing health and wellbeing

Take a stroll, wheel or jog through any park or woodland, and you'll soon discover the restorative power of nature. Green spaces teeming with trees and plants offer a sanctuary for the soul, reducing stress, boosting mood, and promoting physical activity. By cultivating and preserving green havens within our communities, we can foster healthier, happier humans and a greener planet to boot.

Did you know?

The most common tree in London is the London plane, which is valued for its ability to withstand and absorb pollution.

4. Cleansing the air we breathe

In the busy urban landscape, plants serve as nature's air purifiers, filtering out pollutants and toxins from the environment. Trees, in particular, act as guardians of our air quality, absorbing carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide, while releasing fresh oxygen. 

5. Supporting vital pollinators

Where would we be without pollinators like bees, butterflies and birds? Without them, we probably wouldn’t last very long! Just as plants need pollinators to reproduce, pollinators also need plants for their food and shelter. By planting native wildflowers and creating pollinator-friendly habitats, we can support these tireless workers and, crucially, help to safeguard our own food supply.

6. Preventing soil erosion

Beneath the surface, the roots of trees and plants anchor the soil, protecting it from erosion caused by wind and rain. In regions prone to erosion, plant life plays a crucial role in preserving fertile land and preventing landslides. By nurturing healthy trees and plants, we can fortify our soil, help prevent flooding and protect livelihoods.

7. Promoting biodiversity

In a nutshell, the greater the diversity of plant and animal life in an ecosystem, the healthier and more resilient it generally is. Diverse plant life sustains a rich tapestry of ecosystems, many teeming with unique flora and fauna. In the UK, ancient woodlands support more species than any other land-based habitat, so it's especially important to protect the woods we already have as well as planting more.

Trees woods and wildlife

Why are trees important for biodiversity?

Woodland is home to a wealth of wildlife. If we don't protect what we have left and work to create woodlands of the future, we stand to lose more than just trees.

Discover what trees offer

Make a difference by growing your own

Plants really are the lungs of our planet, sustaining ecosystems, feeding us and enriching our lives in countless other ways. Indeed, they are the very things that make life on Earth possible. It is our collective responsibility to protect and nurture these precious natural wonders for the health of ourselves and of our planet. Whether by planting native wildflowers in our own gardens or participating in community tree-planting initiatives, each of us can make our own small difference.

Free trees for schools and communities

We're giving away hundreds of thousands of trees to schools and communities to ensure everyone in the UK gets the chance to plant a tree. 

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