BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 01 Nov '17

On 04 November, The Tree Conference will call for everyone to help save ecosystems by planting trees

The Tree Conference, which will be live streamed from the Red Brick Building in Glastonbury this Saturday (04 November), will invite tree lovers across the UK – and the world – to join a movement to plant trees, safeguard forests and save our ecosystems.

There’s mounting evidence of the considerable wellbeing benefits of trees and the crucial role they can play in reducing carbon emissions and averting climate change.

On 04 November, 130 tree lovers – including leading scientists, environmentalists and reforestation project leaders – will gather for a unique networking forum showcasing inspirational tree projects, organisations and artists.

Those who can’t make the event in person are invited to watch the day’s key talks and discussions free via Lifestream – click here to sign up.

Threats to our trees

Just 13% of the UK’s total land area – and 10% of England’s – is covered in trees. In contrast, the EU country average is about 35%.

The government’s pledge to plant 11 million trees by 2020 is reported to be falling short, adversely affecting the country’s economy and environment.

The Woodland Trust reports England is in danger of deforestation (cutting down more trees than it plants) and many experts believe the government’s long-term aim of increasing woodland cover to 12% in England by 2050 is in any case insufficient.

Elsewhere in the world many countries face deforestation, with illegal loggers representing a considerable threat. Last week, a group of indigenous leaders from Latin America and Indonesia demonstrated in London’s Parliament Square en route to COP23 in Bonn, urging the UK government to protect forest-dwellers defending rainforests from illicit loggers.

In Australia, lawyers are currently taking action to prevent a Victorian government-owned business from unlawfully clear-felling hundreds of hectares of pristine ancient forest.

‘It’s time to cease the destruction of our forests and remove the inhibitions and blocks at policy level around planting. There are so many different organisations and groups in the UK and across the globe working to plant trees that represent an infinite variety of different approaches – from scientists, conservationists and botanists to spiritual ecologists, tree huggers and indigenous rights activists. Ultimately we’re all working to prevent climate change and for the health and wellbeing of our planet and its people, plants and creatures.’

SUZI MARTINEAU
Organiser of The Tree Conference

Tickets to attend The Tree Conference cost £75, including buffet lunch. Click here to buy your tickets.

A limited number of Concession tickets can be purchased for £55 (with buffet lunch) – to apply contact info@thetreeconference.com.

Talks on Livestream

The following talks and discussions from The Tree Conference in Glastonbury will be available to watch via Livestream.

10:10: Dr Alan Rayner, Understanding Trees and Fungi as Flowforms
Bringing his enlightening approach to understanding living systems, the evolutionary ecologist, artist, president of the Bath Natural History Society and former president of the British Mycological Society will share rare insights into the behaviours of certain fungi working in branch decay, heart wood and around the roots of trees.

11:30: Bruce Parry, The Sentience of Trees
The celebrated explorer and BBC presenter of Tribe, Amazon and Arctic will discuss and share excerpts from his new film TAWAI: A Voice from the Forest, which documents human communication with trees. Bruce will also answer questions about TAWAI and his experiences working with trees, plants and people in forests around the world.

14:00: Diana Beresford-Kroeger, Which Trees to Plant in Somerset and Why
The renegade scientist and biochemist shares her knowledge of ethnobotany, horticulture, spirituality and the medicines in trees to reveal a path toward better stewardship of the natural world. Live on Skype from Canada, Diana joins the debate about which trees to plant in Somerset, highlighting the medicines they can bring to this landscape and our wildlife.

15:15: Clare Dubois and Wendy Stephenson, Reforesting the Tropics, the Feminine & the Restorer Species Clare Dubois, founder of global reforestation charity and feminine empowerment movement TreeSisters, joins the event for a Skype interview with TreeSisters’ treasurer Wendy Stephenson to discuss: their latest One Billion Trees campaign; their ground projects across the Tropics; the charity’s unique way of mobilising female supporters and Wendy’s radical yet practical suggestions for costing reforestation and still saving the taxpayer money.

16:30: Panel Discussion, Strategy for Tree Planting Plant scientist Professor Sir David Read, John Tucker of the Woodland Trust, Wendy Stephenson, Simon Miles of Cornwall’s Forest Gardens, artist Gordon Field and Isla Macleod are hosted by landscape consultant Adam Hunt to discuss strategies around planting in Somerset and the UK, which trees to plant and the state of trees worldwide.

‘Tree planting isn’t in the news enough and we want to highlight that it’s already happening on a large scale. This is a massive social movement and The Tree Conference is acting as a platform to bring all the various diverse groups together, and to invite people who care about trees and our ecosystems to find out about different ways of planting. We can’t wait for governments. We need to show leaders what people want and will vote for. We need to collectively create a common goal and strategy to approach the UN with. There must be no more deforestation of ancient woodland, we need a common united voice for the forests!’

SUZI MARTINEAU
Organiser of The Tree Conference