The National Trust is going to plant trees on 44,000 acres of land.
Around half of this is grazing land, currently used by dozens of sheep and cattle farmers, who will have to reduce their herds.
Over the next decade, the environmental and heritage conservation charity plans to grow around 20 million trees. According to director-general Hilary McGrady, The National Trust will plant some of these trees, and in areas where livestock is removed, some will be allowed to self-seed.
Per the Telegraph, McGrady said in a briefing in London, “I’m not going to shy away from the fact that some of this planting will be in upland areas and we will want to work with the farming community on that.”
She added, “we will certainly not be asking farmers to move. But there will be a change in some of the upland landscape that we own.”
‘People Need Nature Now More Than Ever’
The National Trust aims to be carbon neutral by 2030. As well as planting more trees, it will invest in renewable energy and maintain its peat bogs—wetlands that absorb and store carbon.
It is also conscious of the carbon footprint of its visitors. McGrady said, “we are very conscious that people are traveling to our properties and that is something we want to tackle.” It will work on the introduction of “green corridors” to help connect people from urban environments with nature.
It’s important that these people keep coming to see The National Trust’s land, says McGrady. She believes that keeping people connected with the natural environment will help motivate them to be more conscious of their own carbon footprint.
She said, “people need nature now more than ever. If they connect with it, then they look after it. We will galvanize the nation to care.” She added, “working together is the only way we can reverse the decline in wildlife and challenges we face due to climate change.”
Encouraging people to eat climate-friendly plant-based food is another way of reducing environmental impact. At the end of 2019, The National Trust introduced vegan cream teas at 350 locations.