Why Create a New Woodland
There are numerous benefits of creating new woodlands; timber production, provision of shelter, screening, game cover, creating wildlife habitats are just a few of them. Trees also build soil and help soak up storm water before it can create a flood; they also help to reduce ozone levels in urban areas. Most importantly, trees sequester carbon, helping to remove carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from the air, which cools the earth. In fact, a mature canopy tree absorbs enough carbon and releases enough oxygen to sustain two human beings!
The carbon storage capacity of forests is approximately three times as large as the pool of carbon in the atmosphere. If forests are changed, reduced, or eliminated, the captured carbon goes into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (CO2).
Despite their importance to life as we know it, humans have cut down half of all the trees on the planet so far. Every year we cut down over 50,000 square miles of forest worldwide for paper, agriculture, building materials and fuel.
Our natural environment faces many threats and challenges. We need to create new spaces for wildlife if we are to help it cope with these. The UK has only 13% woodland cover, compared with an EU average of 37%.
In 2008, when the Woodland Trust announced that they were looking for spaces to create new woodlands and promote natural British trees, we jumped at the chance.
Obviously the Woodland Trust wouldn’t plant trees just anywhere, so we had to submit a proposal and have our land and facilities inspected for suitability. At Prometheus we have approximately 12 acres of land and the Woodland Trust agreed that we would be an ideal spot to plant 1,000 Native British trees. Planting began in March 2009 and now 8 years later it looks like a wood.
Not only has the wood enormously improved the landscape we have seen a massive increase in wildlife. As well as the usual rabbits, foxes, squirrels we now regular see deer, buzzards, bats, owls, green woodpeckers, greater spotted woodpeckers, nuthatches, tree creepers, voles, just to name a few.
The woodland has also improved our training facility by introducing newer landscapes to run various training scenarios.
Have a look at some before and after photos.