The role of woods and trees in the fight against climate change

The benefits of trees in the fight against climate change are now well understood.

They lock up carbon, reduce pollution and flooding, and support people, wildlife and livestock in adapting to the climate crisis.

But we need more of them. If the UK is to reach its carbon neutral target by 2050, the Committee on Climate Change has recommended an increase in woodland cover from 13% to 19%.

Woods and trees are a natural solution to the climate crisis.
13%
That's how low the UK's woodland cover is.
Compared with the EU average of 37%.
19%
That's how much woodland cover the UK needs.
If the UK is to meet its carbon net zero target by 2050.

What we're doing

There is an urgent need to act now. The UK needs to at least quadruple the current rate of woodland creation and increase the number of native trees.

An increase in native trees will help to minimise the pace and level of climate change and adapt to its unavoidable impacts. 

Here at the Woodland Trust, we're expanding tree cover and protecting and restoring the UK's existing woods. To increase tree cover, our mission is to get 50 million native trees in the ground over the next 5 years. It’s a huge task.

What you can do

Explore the evidence