Did you know?
- Just 13% of the UK’s total land area has tree cover (compared to an EU average of 35%).
- Doubling UK woodland cover could help absorb 10% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions annually.
- Not only do trees absorb carbon, they fight flooding, reduce pollution, nurture wildlife and make landscapes more resilient.
LCON and tree planting
Since 2011, LCON has organised community tree planting events with the city council to help grow a community woodland in Cutteslowe and contribute to Oxford’s ‘urban forest’. With the help of hundreds of community volunteers, we have planted over 2000 trees in Cutteslowe Park and Sunnymead. You can find out more about our most recent community planting in Sunnymead here.
Community tree planting has many benefits – not only can it help support local wildlife, reduce air pollution and fight flooding, it also brings neighbours together and offers a chance to get involved in our local community. But it’s important that we plant ‘the right trees, in the right places’, and we recognise that rewilding has a big role to play alongside tree planting. Find out more here.
Want to take action? Grow trees from seed
This year, given the challenges of Covid restrictions and limited availability of city parkland for new plantings, we are encouraging our members and supporters to grow trees from seed. Check out Banbury Trees’ fantastic tree planting guide, with step-by-step instructions. Trees grown from seed should be ready to plant in two years’ time.
You may wish to consider contributing to Oxford Botanic Garden’s 400th anniversary celebrations: they plan to collect and grow over 400 native trees from seed found within and around Oxford. Local residents, schools and communities are being asked to collect English oak, field maple, hornbeam or hazel seeds, then follow the instructions on how to stratify, sow and plant them. Participants can then plant the trees in their own gardens or donate them to the Botanic Garden. Find more information here.
Other ways you can take action and get involved:
- Sign the petition to double tree cover in Oxfordshire
- Sign the petition to double UK tree cover
- Join Oxfordshire Trees for the Future and find out how you can help plant more trees
- Support organisations like the Woodland Trust
Learning about trees – engaging children
Below are some suggestions for books to help children (or adults!) find out more about trees.
A Little Guide to Trees: “What sort of tree did Robin Hood’s bow come from? What pine tree drops its needles in the winter and how did the monkey puzzle get its name? These are just some of the wonderful facts that you’ll discover inside this book. … Use the delicate illustrations and simple text to help your child identify the trees they see every day, whether they live in the country or the city. This book is a wonderful way of encouraging a child to interact with their environment, helping them to respect and protect the trees that surround them.”
RSPB First Book of Trees: “comprises 35 common garden creatures for beginner naturalists. Through beautiful full-page illustration accompanied by key information about each creature, books are designed to encourage young children’s interest in the outside world and the wildlife around them. A spotter’s chart for children to fill in, and links to Internet-based activities in each book, mean that children can extend the fun.”
Trees (My first book of Nature): “A fun guide to nature for young children. From mighty oaks to spiky monkey puzzle trees, discover fun facts to help you identify these amazing trees. Which tree’s wood is used to make cricket bats? Which tree’s seeds are good to eat? Find out about different types of tree, where they grow and how to identify them. Simple descriptions mixed with beautiful photographs make this a great children’s first guide to British trees.”
And this reading list has a number of suggestions for fiction books on trees. Happy reading!