The Forest for Cornwall project
The Forest for Cornwall is the flagship project of the Climate Change Action Plan (July 2019). The declaration of a climate emergency by Cornwall Councillors led to the preparation of this plan. It shows how Cornwall can reduce carbon emissions. The aim is to work towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
Carbon dioxide contributes to climate change. Trees and woodlands take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and lock it into the wood for the life of the tree. This is also called Carbon Drawdown. On land, trees and woodlands are the most efficient at drawdown.
Other solutions will also contribute alongside the Forest for Cornwall. These include marine eelgrass, wildflower meadows and soil carbon.
The importance of trees
Trees and hedges provide lots of benefits, including:
- Trees absorb CO2, remove and store carbon, and release oxygen back into the air
- Trees provide timber, fuel, renewable energy, fruit and business opportunities.
- Trees intercept rainfall, store water, and slow surface water which helps prevent flooding.
- Trees shield us from ultra-violet rays and can reduce exposure by 50%
- Trees provide food, homes and shelter for birds, mammals and insects
- Trees shade our buildings and streets
- Trees filter pollutants out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark
- Trees can help repair the soil when planted on contaminated ground
- Trees reduce traffic noise, muffle nuisance sounds and mask unsightly buildings
- Views of trees help medical patients recuperate faster and improve mental health
- Shoppers spend 9-12% more in areas with high quality tree cover
- Tree rich neighbourhoods have a lower incidence of violence.
The Benefits of Trees on Farms:
Trees can provide all sorts of benefits to the farmer including increasing water quality and carbon storage. You can find out more from our factsheet which explores all the benefits and with links to further information.
Planning the Forest for Cornwall
The Forest for Cornwall will place the right trees in the right place for the right purpose.
There will be several large areas of woodland and forests, as well as many smaller copses and individual trees across Cornwall. Connecting corridors will be planted in the form of hedgerows, and trees along rivers, trails and cycle routes and in our urban streets.
We will identify some potential larger sites to plant by using the best available local information. This is currently being developed with joint work by:
- Cornwall Council
- the University of Exeter
- the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS)
The programme will involve planting new trees and protecting existing trees and hedges. Forest for Cornwall will also aim to support planting by landowners, businesses and community groups.
We will be sensitive to existing environmental features, heritage and landscape designations, and land use.
If you would like to tell us you have planted trees, or are seeking advice or information please get in touch on our Contact Us form.
The Forest for Cornwall programme
The Forest for Cornwall is a 10 year programme.
The first phase (2019 to 2021) is being funded and coordinated by Cornwall Council to help grow the longer term partnership programme.
The first trees were planted at a special launch event in Saltash on 17 December 2019.
Please visit our What's Happening section to find out more.
Some interesting facts about trees in Cornwall:
- Woodland cover in Cornwall is 9% to 10% compared to a UK average of 13% and Europe 37%
- The total length of Cornwall's hedges is 30,000 miles. This represents a total surface of 85.44Km2, which makes up 2.4% of Cornwall’s land area
- There are 32,000 hectares of woodland in Cornwall, of which 71% is broadleaf and 15% conifer
- The Darley oak in Linkinhorne is over 1,000 years old
- The average UK resident consumes 12 trees a year in their use of everyday products
- A new native woodland can capture 300 to 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide (equivalent per hectare) in fifty years, and 400 to 500 tonnes in 100 years