Who is the Tree Champion? 

Help us to plant 5 million more trees

We all know that trees are amazing – they clean the air we breathe, house thousands of species and help us prevent flooding, to name but a few things. What you may or may not know is that last week the government appointed an official Tree Champion – Chairman of the National Forest Sir William Worsley.

It runs the risk of sounding like an empty PR gesture but it’s actually a really important move for the government’s plan to plant another 11 million trees. With his influence and experience, Sir William will be talking to vital stakeholders, both councils and private businesses, to ensure that there’s enough planting and not too much felling going on.

However, many news outlets are confusing any felling with ‘unnecessary felling’. Sometimes trees do need to be cut down as woodland needs managing; felling is a vital part of the growth of any woodland, as crazy as that sounds. Also, it’s a sustainable source of timber and firewood (read more about our firewood here). Obviously it isn’t ideal that councils have removed trees entirely rather than just coppicing them, or that National Rail felled trees during nesting season, or that HS2 could lead to losses of ancient woodland (the list goes on…) Felling isn’t always bad, but it obviously isn’t always good either.

He’s got quite a job on his hands. Currently the government aren’t on track to plant their 11 million trees (we have every sympathy as we have another 5 million to plant!) so with Sir William as a voice of reason hopefully things will get moving in the right direction. In the meantime, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing, and aiming for another 5 million trees in the Forest of Marston Vale, and hopefully the whole of the UK will catch up with what we’re doing one day! #humblebrag

Images: Protesters in Sheffield, New Civil Engineer
Sir William Worsley - The Guardian