The project exploring where in Petersfield more trees could be planted was announced in a post in March last year. It is pleasing to report that the Report of the project has now been completed and is available for download or purchase – go to the Petersfield Society website for further information.
The report summarises the reasons for the survey, how it was carried out by citizen science volunteers, the main results of the survey and their implications. It discusses the importance of more tree planting for Petersfield, its residents and general liveability, in the face of climate change and the threat of tree pests and diseases. Several examples of how the survey data can be used in planning a planting campaign are given. The report identifies how public authorities, householders and private landowners can all contribute to improve tree cover and recommends how relevant agencies might work together in partnership to discharge their responsibility to ensure that Petersfield retains its character and prosperity. The valuable role of community volunteers in contributing to projects of this kind is emphasised. The potential for adopting the kind of methodology used in the Petersfield survey for more widespread identification of places to plant trees in urban areas is discussed.
It is vital that the COP26 Conference in Glasgow later this year achieves its ambitious objectives. We are on the footslopes of a global climate crisis that threatens our future if we don’t act now. However, many people feel powerless in the face of such catastrophes and revert to expecting others, for example politicians and scientists, to solve the problem. The phrase ‘think global, act local’ is often used to encourage communities and individuals to all play a part. In East Hampshire, the local MP Damian Hinds is working with the District Council on a local COP26 process that will focus on what we can do locally to accelerate the journey to net carbon zero: individual families and firms, local government, the public sector, schools, voluntary groups and civil society. It is planned that an event in October will showcase local best practice and identify specific and tangible actions that can help reduce our collective carbon footprint. Various specialists have been co-opted to help advise on aspects of this challenge. Andy Moffat was delighted to be invited to take part in one of three workstreams that is examining the role of land management, farming and forestry. The working group has also discussed how urban communities can play an important part. Further information on COP26 East Hampshire can be found HERE.