Today marks the launch of a new campaign aimed to inspire the nation to plant more trees and flowers. In line with stepping up efforts to tackle climate change, the new initiative strives to help us, as a nation, build back greener and help preserve and protect nature. The campaign is supported by organisations committed to a greener country such as The National Trust, Woodland Trust, The Horticultural Trades Association and Royal Horticultural Society.
Launched today, on World Environment Day, this exciting new campaign hopes to drive interest, enthusiasm, and a call for action ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which will be hosted in Glasgow later this year.
Hilary McGrady, Director-General of the National Trust, said: “The last year has reminded us how important nature is for our health and wellbeing. But just as we need nature, so nature needs us. And never more urgently than now. At the National Trust, we are establishing 20 million new trees on our land by 2030, including millions of blossoming trees, creating 25,000 hectares of new nature habitat, and restoring peatland across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Together we can make a huge difference, which is why we are delighted to support Defra's Plant for our Planet campaign today.”
What can you do?
Individuals and communities are being encouraged to take part – no matter how small the project is. From planting a window box, rolling up their sleeves and mulching, or sprucing up a community space, the public are encouraged to #PlantForOurPlanet and share their story on digital channels and social media. There are so many ways that you can help – planting flowers for pollinators to a native tree in a garden, building insect hotels, vegetable patches or simply letting your grass grow, by encouraging more people to get involved in the campaign, everyone can play a part in helping to protect and enhance our natural environment.
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Plus, green groups will also be able to nominate examples of outstanding individuals, groups or projects which showcase the benefits of planting and supporting nature – our “Nature Heroes”. These heroes will receive a personal letter from ministers to thank them for their efforts.
Speaking on a campaign launch visit to ‘Walthamstow Village in Bloom’ a community planting group in East London, Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “The world has an extraordinary opportunity at COP26 to come together to tackle climate change and reverse biodiversity loss. Plant For Our Planet is a chance for the public to take part, planting flowers and trees, restoring a community space and getting out into nature. Through thousands of individual actions, we want to send a simple message – we are in this together for our planet.”
Today’s announcement builds on plans to boost biodiversity, protect our peatlands and create new woodlands as set out recently by the Environment Secretary. This includes aims to treble woodland creation rates by the end of this Parliament guided by the Government’s new England Trees Action Plan. In recent news, the UK has also become the first country to create a legally-binding species target for 2030, in a bid to combat the decline of nature.
How to take part
You can get involved by joining a range of existing project, such as the National Trust’s ‘Blossom Watch’ or The Wildlife Trusts ‘30 Days Wild’. People can also plant trees through the Woodland Trust’s ‘Big Climate Fightback’.
There are a variety of nature projects you can join. These include:
- Woodland Trust – Big Climate Fightback
- Wildlife Trusts – 30 Days Wild
- National Trust – Blossom Watch
- Forestry England – resources for learning about forests, wellbeing walks and being active in the forest
To get involved and plant for our planet you can download the Plant for our Planet partner pack here.
Katie is Editorial & Digital Assistant on Gardens Illustrated