It’s been nearly three summers since we first ventured out, our pockets bulging with books about trees, the scent of sap and science in our nostrils, and tape measures, maps, rainproof clipboards, and funny bits of plastic with a wobbly circle-thing on them all festooned about our persons – to begin the University of Leeds Campus i-Tree Eco Full Survey.
This was the first leg of a long journey which also includes an i-Tree Eco Sample Survey of Leeds’ Middleton Ward (where our Forest Observatory keeps a weather eye on the ancient woodland in Middleton Park), and an i-Tree Canopy survey of the whole city, ward by ward. (Reports on both these, along with other valuation work using CAVAT etc, are in preparation). And there’s more to come, as we work towards better ways to value Natural Capital, and so help to protect existing trees and facilitate the growth of more – while the world gradually remembers how vital the Greenery Machinery is to our heath, welfare – and even survival.
The Committee for Climate Change (of which our Trustee Piers Forster in a member) has advised that we need to halve emissions by 2030 if we’re to stand a fair chance of avoiding more than 1.5 degrees C of warming over pre-industrial levels, and possibly catastrophic climate impacts.
Dom and Felicity explained the research work being done at the observatory, the value of trees and their role in helping to mitigate climate change (clue; we can’t plant enough to fix the problem, but it certainly helps), and in helping to prevent flooding. Later they suggested ways in which people can get involved in supporting tree planting.
Two good news items have hit the blog desk this week:
The first is that UBoC’s first fully-funded doctoral student has graduated, following the submission of his thesis on “The Impact of changes in anthropogenic air pollutants on particulate air quality and the attributable burden of disease” – so, congratulations to Dr Ed Butt!
Says Ed, “I stared working with UBoC back in 2010 and became their first funded PhD student in 2013. Since then UBoC has grown considerably with (soon) 11 other PhD students now working on all kinds of exciting research projects relating to the world’s forests and trees.
I would like to thank UBoC for providing me with the opportunities and skills needed to successfully complete my PhD project. It has been a real pleasure working with everyone over these past years.
However, I won’t be leaving Leeds or involvement with UBoC now that my PhD has come to an end. I have just taken up a postdoctoral position on the DECAF project, which seeks to understand climate and air quality impacts associated with tropical deforestation. My role will be looking that local climate impacts.”
The second good news story is that UBoC has appointed a Tree Officer: Anna Gugan.
Anna explains: “I first encountered UBoC when studying for my Masters in Landscape Architecture at Leeds Beckett. Initially I volunteered for the University of Leeds I-Tree survey in the summer of 2017, and then used I-Tree as part of my Major Design submission, which focused on Harrogate.
When UBoC’s i-Tree researcher, Dr Hannah Walker, left to take up a post in Antarctica, I helped finish the tree survey and data processing. Being appointed to the new post as UBoC’s Tree Officer is a great privilege, and I’m looking forward to working further with i-Tree and other natural capital valuation tools, as well as helping with the development of UK planting projects, especially the White Rose Forest, which forms the Yorkshire section of the Northern Forest.
Once a year the UBoC team – many of whom work in different departments to the core group in University of Leeds School of Earth and Environment / Priestley International Centre for Climate, (we even have team members at the University of York now) – get together to have some fun, and do something useful.
As Tom had explained in his talk, the United Bank of Carbon (UBoC) promotes the twinning of woodlands in the UK (temperate forest) and Africa, (tropical forest) because each biome offers unique and complementary benefits, both for the climate and for local communities. Tropical trees work harder to fix CO2 than UK trees, while offering many social and other benefits for local people and wildlife, and UK trees offer key engagement features for UK donors, while also delivering valuable carbon and other benefits. So a donation allowing the creation of a new twinning was a perfect outcome for UBoC. Continue reading New Forest Twins: York, UK = Masaka, Uganda→
United Bank of Carbon is a not-for-profit collaboration between businesses and environmental scientists, which protects and restores forests and other greenery, through environmentally and socially-responsible partnerships with local communities. We undertake research, support forest and woodland projects in the UK and the tropics that deliver CSR/PR benefits, provide carbon reduction advice, and help to arrange compensation for unavoidable carbon emissions