In partnership with climate charity, Possible, the Nature Friendly Farming Network has planted trees in two locations in England.
This month (Dec 2021), farmers, local residents and supporters of climate charity, Possible, joined forces to plant 3,000 trees on the farm of NFFN UK Chair, Martin Lines, at Papley Grove Farm in Cambridgeshire and another 1,000 at The Grange in Cheshire as part of a campaign to regenerate hedgerows which will help take CO2 from the atmosphere as well as providing valuable refuges for wildlife.
By working with the Nature Friendly Farming Network, Possible is working to actively engage the agricultural sector in reducing its carbon emissions. A vital part of the UK’s economy and rural life, the sector has struggled to reduce its contribution to UK carbon emissions – flatlining at contributing around 10% to the national total for the last decade. Tree-planting activities like these, as well as other measures, will be essential in allowing the sector to successfully achieve the UK’s legally binding net-zero 2050 target and NFU’s ambition for UK agriculture to be net-zero carbon by 2040.
Hedgerows have a storied history in the UK. Existing since Bronze Age farming, their growth has been on and off since Roman times. Post-1945, to ensure food security in the UK, many policies were put in place to encourage their removal. Only very recently have the negative impacts of their degradation been fully understood and now initiatives all around the country are looking at how we can regenerate them in order to reduce carbon emissions and protect native wildlife.
With these events, Possible give the public real opportunities to take action on climate and wildlife – something that can feel monumentally difficult at times – while providing practical utility to farmers, increasing carbon drawdown and wildlife habitats. The events also create opportunities for the public to access the countryside, nature and green space as well as enable conversations between the wider public and farmers about their work and their responses to the climate and nature crises.
Possible has been working with local communities to deliver local tree planting since 2018. Possible links up local community members and our supporters from around the country to volunteer to plant trees and hedges. With the success of this, and other hedgerow plantings on farms across the UK, there is an opportunity for this approach to hedge restoration and planting work to be extended – unlocking benefits for farmers, the public and the environment alike.
Neil Jones, campaigner at climate charity Possible, said: “Tree-planting is always an enjoyable and rewarding experience for Possible and all of our volunteers. This has been a particularly successful session and local residents, as well as volunteers, all had a blast. Hedgerow regeneration will undoubtedly be a valuable tool as the UK looks to reduce its carbon emissions and restore its native wildlife. By working with the Nature Friendly Farming Network we hope we can help those in the agricultural sector who want to make a change do so and connect communities from all walks of life to the benefit of both the climate and nature.”