The world’s forests can seem remote to the modern city dweller but we are all dependent on the trees growing within them. The water cycle, climate regulation, soil protection and ﬂood containment – forests play a central role in all these areas. They are also the source of timber, cellulose and many pharmaceuticals. Guardians of biodiversity and providers of habitat.
Industrialisation, population pressure and climate change have made forest protection an ever higher priority. And yet forest destruction in many parts of the world is proceeding at an unprecedented rate.
Internationally, The Berkeley Reafforestation Trust has focused on marginalised rural communities dependent on their local forests for daily survival. Trees that help conserve and enrich the soil, that provide fuelwood, fodder, building material, fruit, medicine and shade.
Currently the Trust is increasing its focus on work here in the UK while maintaining support for its longstanding programme in the Indian Himalayas. We are in particular involved with the environmental education of the young: in giving children the opportunity for regular experience, appreciation and understanding of the natural world through the medium of the Forest School programme. These children are the future guardians of our countryside, our trees and our urban outdoor spaces. Furthermore the programme offers signiﬁcant and well established beneﬁts to participating children in terms of their overall wellbeing, both physical and psychological.
A ﬁnal word for trees. From the life they bring to an urban landscape through to the majesty of the great forest ranges, trees bring beauty into our lives.