Speaker followed by Dinner - Host Frank Randall
Wed 11th October 2017 at 18.30 - 20.00
A talk given to the Rotary Club of Furness on the work of the Woodland Trust by Paul Littlewood (a Trust Volunteer)
Paul explained that he was a Woodland Trust Voluteer & had been a member of the Trust for 25 years. He now looks after How Tun wood in Hawcoat, a millennium Wood planted in 1999.
The Woodland Trust was started in 1972 by Ken Watkins and a group of his friends, who were concerned about a threat to Avon Wood in Devon. The Trust has now grown into an organisation that owns and manages 1000 woods in the UK , large and small. It has planted 32 million trees in 45 years and in addition plants 15 hectares of new woodland each year and has 700,000 supporters.
Paul said that trees are good for our health and wellbeing both physical and psychological: by cleaning the air of pollutants: creating natural habitat for wildlife: transforming landscapes: creating a cool tranquil environment. Also woods help reduce flooding, dampen noise and provide wood products and fuel.
Paul explained that the UK only has 13% of woodland covering it’s landmass and is one of the least wooded countries in Europe. Ancient Woodland( never been cleared of trees) is unique to the UK and only 2% of woodland is designated as Ancient. 85% of Ancient Woodland is unprotected and half has been lost since 1930.
Other threats are Climate Change, Pest and Diseases ( 126 million Ash Trees are at risk from Ash Dieback), Infrastructure and development ( the HS2 high speed rail link phase 1 & 2 are threatening 97 Ancient woodlands) and Intensive Farming.
Paul said there was a lack of protection for woodland i planning and that there was not enough planting taking place to replace lost woodland.
The Woodland Trust Mission is to create a UK rich in Native woods and Trees for the benefit of both people and wildlife.
To Create :- Use plantings to enhance what is already present through extending woodland and wildlife corridors
To Protect :- from development.
To Restore :- To help damaged woodland to regenerate.
Paul showed us a map of local woods to visit and then encouraged us all to become members of the Woodland Trust to help in it’s work.
After a few questions, Paul was thanked by Rotarian Frank Randall for his talk and for all the help he has give to the club, planting crocus for Purple for Polio.
All Rotarians applauded warmly.