What is a Woodland Trust carbon donation?

A carbon donation will help the Woodland Trust protect and look after the 1,000-plus woods in our care, ensuring they continue to capture and store carbon dioxide (CO2). Your donation will support our work, but is not part of an accredited carbon offset scheme.

What does my donation help fund?

Your donation will be spent exclusively on the maintenance of our woodland estate. The woods in our care are a valuable carbon store, removing CO2 from the air as part of the carbon cycle and helping to mitigate the effects of climate change. Our estate also provides vital habitat for wildlife and places for people to visit and connect with nature.

What is the carbon cycle?

Carbon atoms naturally occur in every life form on Earth. The carbon cycle is the natural process by which these atoms continually move between the Earth’s atmosphere and the physical environment. When in the atmosphere, carbon takes the form of CO2. The burning of fossil fuels by humans means CO2 is being released into the atmosphere at a much faster rate than would naturally occur, while the destruction of trees and other plants means less carbon is stored in the environment. The increase in CO2 levels within the atmosphere is the driving force behind climate change.

Trees play a key role in the carbon cycle as they absorb CO2 from the atmosphere during photosynthesis. Each year roughly 20 million tonnes of CO2 are absorbed by the UK’s forests. The carbon will eventually be re-released into the atmosphere as the trees decay, before being reabsorbed by new trees. As a result, it is vital to both protect existing trees and plant new ones to cope with the rising CO2 levels caused by human activity.

How much should I donate?

Government figures for the UK population and CO2 emissions suggest the average person has a carbon footprint of 5.5 tonnes of CO2 per year.

You can mitigate your own impact by helping us to care for our woods, ensuring they continue to absorb and store carbon emissions. Every £25 donated helps us protect and care for an area of woodland that has the potential to secure roughly 1 tonne of CO2. A donation of £137.40 would allow us to look after enough woodland to capture and store 5.5 tonnes of CO2, matching the figure for the average UK person’s yearly carbon footprint. The donation amount is up to you, but can be set up as a regular direct debit or as a one off donation.

What is a carbon footprint?

The term carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions created due to the activities of a person, business or other entity.

What is carbon neutral?

Carbon neutrality is achieved when the emissions created by a person or other entity are balanced out by activities that ensure the equivalent amount of carbon is removed from the atmosphere. This is also known as net zero.

What is a carbon offset?

A carbon offset is an activity that will formally compensate for CO2 emissions by ensuring the same amount of CO2 is removed from the atmosphere.

How do I become carbon neutral?

To become carbon neutral you must estimate your carbon footprint and ensure the equivalent amount of CO2 is offset. It is hard for any individual to claim to be truly carbon neutral, as accurately working out the emissions associated with every aspect of our lives is difficult. The best course of action is to take steps to reduce your environmental impact as much as possible.

How do I work out my carbon footprint?

We do not offer a carbon calculator as there is a lack of reliable data available for the carbon emissions associated with UK lifestyles. If you are interested in trying to calculating your own footprint, we would recommend the below:

Can I tree plant for carbon?

A carbon donation funds the maintenance and protection of the existing trees and woods cared for by the Woodland Trust. This includes encouraging the natural growth of new trees through the process known as natural regeneration. If you would like to plant a tree, trees are available to purchase from our shop.

I looked at a lot of carbon schemes and many of them are based overseas, but I thought I’d like to do something here in the UK. Trees are the best bet we’ve got for absorbing carbon dioxide, so I thought let’s do this with the Woodland Trust.

Carbon donor from Birmingham