Re-greening the UK: Progress Being Made Say Greenpeace
Bee Bus Stop.
Originally trialled in Holland, Brighton and Hove has a new green roofed wildflower bus shelter, the first of its type in the South of England. Their wild flowers attract pollinating insects whose numbers have sharply declined in recent years, especially in urban areas. Not only do these bus stops make fantastic sanctuaries for bees, they also absorb rain water to help prevent flooding, reduce temperatures in the summer and capture pollution particles from the air – as well as looking great.
Brighton and Hove Council leader Phélim Mac Cafferty says: “We all know that there has been a serious decline in biodiversity and insects. And the green roof on this bus stop is a perfect way to give nature a breathing space…”
Some of the cities already adopting them around the UK are: Leicester, Brighton, Derby, Oxford and Hereford.
You can find out more on the Brighton and Hove website
What might once have been seen as a sign of neglect is now meeting with widespread approval as local councils around the UK stop mowing their grass.
So it might sound obvious that we need trees but sadly the UK has fewer trees than almost any country in the world and around three times less woodland than the EU average. Or just 11.7% woodland cover compared to an average of 37% for the EU. And according to a report by the House Of Lords, France and Greece have more than double the woodland cover of the UK and Spain has more than three times the amount.
As environmentalist and activist Jon Burke puts it “What if I told you there was a single intervention we could deliver in our cities that would cool them during heatwaves, reduce flooding, scrub pollutants from the air, boost biodiversity, improve public health, and even reduce crime? You wouldn’t believe me. But it’s true.”
The Committee on Climate Change says 1.5bn trees need to be planted by 2050 for the UK to achieve its net-zero carbon target.
Greenpeace’s Aiyan Maharasingam says Charities like Trees For Cities are working with ambitious local authorities to plant thousands of new trees in cities each year. Cities like Cardiff, Leeds and Portsmouth are leading the way and have planted tens of thousands of new trees in the last year or so. These new trees will support plants and animals, clean the air and reduce temperatures in the summer, and also make their communities more beautiful places to live.
If you have an urban greening project or idea you would like to discuss please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.