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Global reforestation: it’s in our hands

The Tree Conference will explore citizen-led reforestation and the vital role of trees in the wellbeing of people and planet
Katie Hill - Editor-in-Chief, My Green Pod
Global reforestation is in our hands

Citizen-led proposals for tree planting and global reforestation will be debated and explored at The Tree Conference at the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury on Saturday 04 November.

Leading-edge tree scientists, tree and reforestation project leaders, climate change experts and artists will come together to share their research, practical projects and visions for re-greening our future.

‘Mounting evidence shows that trees have a crucial role to play in sustaining our ecosystem’s future. In November 2015, the UN leader’s statement on Forests and Climate Change stated that ‘Reducing emissions from and enhancing removals through forests can reduce billions of tons of emissions per year and are essential to prevent catastrophic climate change’.’

Organiser of The Tree Conference


Keynote speakers at the conference will include Bruce Parry, Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Alan Rayner and Clare Dubois and Wendy Stephenson of TreeSisters, while the day’s lively panel discussion will feature Professor Sir David Read, lead author of the Forestry Commission’s report Combating Climate Change: A Role for UK Trees. The day’s key talks and debates will be broadcast to a global audience via Livestream.

‘We’re delighted to be showcasing so many inspirational tree projects, organisations and artists, providing a unique networking platform and space to explore how the UK can give back to the world by tree planting. This will be the first conference to give regular UK citizens and tree lovers the chance to feed into this debate and directly contribute to this movement to safeguard our forest cover, water and soil security for generations to come.’

Organiser of The Tree Conference

The Woodland Trust, one of the many partners supporting the conference, will share information about its Charter for Trees, Woods and People, which will launched on Monday 6 November to inaugurate the 800th anniversary of the 1217 Charter of the Forest.

Other conference partners include the Royal Forestry Society (the foremost forestry accreditation body), the International Tree Foundation, The Gaia Foundation and Treeconomics.

‘Tree planting and reforestation are initiatives whose time has come. This conference provides an exemplary template for other conferences to use worldwide. It also underlines that it’s time for us all to step into a much deeper relationship with trees. Trees offer us profound templates for how to live, and how to communicate and build resilience together, as well as for how to survive as a species. Let’s collectively seed trees in our hearts and minds and make reforestation core to everything we do.’

Founder of TreeSisters

‘We have to do it all’

The conference will also share recent unexpected breakthroughs made by Wendy Stephenson, treasurer of global reforestation charity TreeSisters. Wendy is also CEO of Converging World, a charity investing in renewable energy which uses the surplus funds for reforestation.

‘Reforestation is a no-brainer in terms of the cost to reduce one tonne of CO2 with any technology like solar or wind compared with a tree and the many benefits it brings, not least because they keep us alive. And most technology only avoids CO2 it does not sequester it. We have to do it all, and we need to accelerate sequestration through reforestation which is one of the most cost-effective ways of cooling the planet. It also serves so many other aspects of restoring our world, including biodiversity, water retention and microclimate.’

CEO of Converging World

The Tree Conference’s associated art exhibition, running from 16 October to 18 November, will showcase the work of many eminent artists, including Elyse Pomeranz, famous for her Conversations with Trees watercolours, and Olivia Clifton Bligh, whose screen printing expresses the ancient druidic understanding of trees as sacred portals to knowledge and wisdom.

Dr Alan Rayner’s groundbreaking scientific work will also be evoked through a series of stunning, bio-chemically informed paintings.

Other questions to be explored at The Tree Conference include:

  • Which trees can accommodate predicted temperature changes in the UK?
  • What can be done to prevent the forest fires that have plagued the US, Europe and Russia this year?
  • How can we support the health of ash, chestnut, oak and conifers?
  • How can the government meet it’s pledge to plant 11 million trees in two years?
  • When is reforestation not the answer for some landscapes?
  • Why wait until 2050 to become carbon neutral?

Details and tickets

The Tree Conference will be held on Saturday 4 November, at Red Brick Building, Glastonbury, BA6 9FT

Tickets cost £75, but Early Bird tickets (£65) are available if you book before 15 October. A buffet lunch is included in the ticket price. Click here to buy your tickets.

A limited number of Concession tickets can be purchased for £55 (also with buffet lunch) – to apply contact

Click here for more information about The Tree Conference.

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