Today is the day of the Big Climate Fightback, an initiative by the Woodland Trust to encourage as many people as possible around the UK to plant a tree to help fight climate change. A Channel 5 special on Thursday, hosted by Chris Packham, endeavoured to raise £150k—enough to plant 100,000 trees, and this target was met on the night. But even before that, thousands of people had pledged to support the campaign either by donating or planting a tree of their own.
Making a donation is better than nothing but if you really want to feel like you’re making a difference then planting a tree for yourself is the way to go. I have just come indoors from a cold and foggy garden where I have planted a hornbeam tree. It looks frighteningly fragile at the moment and will have to cling on to life for a few months to survive the winter but then in the spring it will come alive and begin to spread its roots ready for, hopefully, hundreds of years of sucking CO2 from the atmosphere and replacing it with precious oxygen. There is no more efficient machine at doing this than a tree. For all our clever technology we will need trees to save us from a disaster we have brought upon ourselves. I may not be around to see my hornbeam reach full maturity but I can rest easy knowing it will be fighting for years to come to repair the damage our reckless species has done. I’m not sure we deserve trees at all.