Lucky 13

The Millennium Country Park has been awarded the Green Flag award for the 13th year in a row which we’re really proud of – as always, we’d love you to vote for us in the People’s Choice Top Ten awards if you love the Park, to show our team and our volunteers just how special the Park is to everyone. Voting only takes a few seconds and you don't need to register!

Forest Team wave the green flag in the Forest Shelter

Young woodlands - the best carbon sinks

Obviously, we’re up against a lot of parks in the UK – some young, some old. The Millennium Country Park, like virtually all of our sites, is a young woodland (trees that are under 140 years old are considered young) but this doesn’t make them any less effective. Researchers at the University of Birmingham have found that it’s quite the opposite – previously, older, established forests were thought to be the biggest carbon sinks in the world but now research is showing that new woodlands planted on previously agricultural/logging land, or land which has been subject to forest fires, accounts for around 25% of the total CO2 absorbed by forests.

We aren’t talking about the Amazon either – this is middle/high latitude forests in America, Canada, Russia and Europe as well as the huge re-forestation projects going on in China. The key thing will be to continue re-foresting, once these forests become mature, to make sure that we’re always benefiting from the young trees carbon absorption. Dr Tom Pugh (Birmingham Institute of Forest Research) also added:

The amount of CO2 that can be taken up by forests is a finite amount: ultimately reforestation programmes will only be effective if we simultaneously work to reduce our emissions.

We've planted 2 million trees since the early 1990s and - so far - they remove approx. 4,917 tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of 2000 family cars, every year. You can definitely be proud of your local, community forest - just because what we're doing isn't on a huge, global scale, doesn't mean that we aren't improving the planet one small bit at a time. Our recent accreditation under The Queen's Forest Canopy proves it - if lots of forests work together, we can make a massive difference to the planet, for future generations.

Plant One On Us this year

Last winter we gave free trees away for people in the local area to plant as part of our Plant One On Us scheme – if you want to be involved next time we do this (hopefully early 2020) then click here to sign up for more information!