Each of our action categories are important in their own way.
It is possible to manage our local green spaces in a way that both reduces emissions and draws down and stores carbon from the atmosphere: as well as supporting a diversity of wildlife, and providing us with healthy food.
Land use has a vital role to play in removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere through natural “carbon capture”. Our peatlands, woodlands and local grasslands are all ecosystems that store ‘green’ carbon - healthy living soils, a varied countryside and clean rivers have the potential to draw down vast amounts of carbon from the atmosphere. Farming practices such as minimum tillage / no-dig gardening / regenerative agriculture / permaculture gardening all have the potential to soak up carbon from the atmosphere and simultaneously provide other benefits for people and wildlife.
Efforts to tackle the dramatic loss of wildlife and biodiversity that is being seen all across the world are central to tackling the climate emergency - the two problems are inseparable. Ensuring local biodiversity and the abundance of natural habitats is essential for our future. And while the recovery of nature is valuable in its own right, our green spaces also provide a balance for some of the effects of climate change such as flooding and drought.
Gardening can help us to regulate the Earth’s climate as well as providing sanctuary for pollinators, insects and birds. Over the past 10 years, 44% of species have decreased in the UK. And as well as being ecologically vital, green spaces contribute to our own health and wellbeing: by growing our own fruit and veg we are consuming organic, highly nutritious food; by spending time with nature we are connecting to the land in a way that gives us much needed relief from daily life.
No matter how small your garden - or windowsill - taking action will make a difference. And with allotment space, community gardens or sharing excess produce, our green spaces also provide many opportunities to foster community resilience and connection.
In Herefordshire we are lucky to live in such a beautiful green county, and with so many properties situated in rural areas - there are gardens a plenty! Although we have the best tree cover in the West Midlands, this is still only 15% - so there is plenty of scope to regenerate our green spaces to benefit wildlife and store carbon.