Planting trees is one of the most effective, natural tools we have for capturing carbon that would otherwise enter the atmosphere. Since the United Kingdom has some of the lowest levels of tree cover in the world, the UK made a pledge years ago to plant more trees across the nation. And while England, Wales, and Northern Ireland have been increasing tree cover rather slowly, it is Scotland that is leading the tree-planting charge.
In fact, the Scottish government just announced that they have surged past their national tree planting goals by planting over 22 million trees in 2018. The new trees amount to roughly 11,200 hectares (43 square miles) of new forestry added in 2018 alone, which comfortably surpasses their current goal of adding at least 10,000 hectares every year.
Scotland, however, is not stopping there. As a part of their climate change commitments, the country has already upped the planting targets for the future to 15,000 hectares a year starting in 2024. Hopefully, Scotland’s huge efforts to boost tree cover will inspire their neighbors to do the same.