UBoC pledged to arrange for at least one Terrific Tropical Tree to be planted in Africa for every school sending Terrific Scientific data to the University of Leeds. In the end, the figure turned out to be 44,640 trees!
In the experiment, children from the UK’s 25,000+ primary schools found out why trees are important for the climate, oxygen, biodiversity, flood prevention, air quality and more, and then surveyed the trees that grow in or around their school.
As well as taking measurements and identifying the species from leaf charts supplied by The Woodland Trust, they also estimated the number of trees on site so they could work out roughly how much carbon is stored at their school using a special calculator. These estimates were then uploaded to the BBC’s Terrific Scientific map, and the raw data sent to the University of Leeds, so we could calculate the valuable services that trees at primary schools across the UK are providing.
Learning about climate change can be quite worrying, so we wanted there to be a tangible legacy to show that we can all help to reduce the effects of global warming by reducing our carbon emissions and supporting the planting of trees. We also wanted to provide good news stories that the children can follow over time about how schools, families, foresters and scientists in the tropics – where trees work much harder in terms of carbon storage and climate change mitigation than trees in the UK – are playing their part too.
School visitors might like to explore our Greenery Machinery page to find out more about the role of trees and plants in the carbon cycle, why tropical trees are especially valuable, and how schools can help by reducing their carbon emissions.
There are four Terrific Tropical Tree projects – in Tanzania (sponsored by Samuel Grant Packaging), in Kenya (sponsored by Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate), and in Uganda and Madagascar (both sponsored by private donation via UBoC).*
*100% of donations to UBoC go to forest projects, and we often encourage donors to give directly to a project. Our running costs and research are supported by separate donations and lots of good will. Please get in touch if you would like to donate to either a project or to our research.
Dr Cat Scott, Environmental Scientist and LEAF Coordinator said, “Today’s children are going to be the people in 20 or 30 years’ time making the big decisions about how society deals with the ongoing threat of climate change – we think it’s important that they grow up with an appreciation of the way that different parts of our environment are interconnected.”
Tom Bliss, UBoC’S Business Development Coordinator added, “Learning about climate change can be quite worrying, so we wanted to deliver a positive result that the children could feel part of. We chose to plant in Africa because tropical trees regulate the climate much better than UK trees, and investing there will also help hard-pressed local communities with jobs, food and other benefits from the trees. This is also a perfect example how businesses, academics and forest projects can work together for the public good – which is what UBoC is all about.”
All Terrific Tropical Trees will be protected to ensure they’ll live a full life as climate regulators, but these forests are not officially ‘carbon offset’ schemes, which are much more expensive because there’s an accredited equity between measured carbon emissions and trees planted, to guarantee that an equivalent tonnage of CO2 will be sequestered by that scheme. UBoC works with a variety of forests in the UK and around the world, including both official offsetting projects and other schemes that have been vetted to ensure that their trees will thrive while also delivering additional benefits to the local community. If you’d like to know more about how you can offset your company, your school, your family, yourself or just a specific activity such as a journey or an event, click here.