It’s easy to forget, with the smog of urban life swirling around us, that the greener parts of the UK are an invaluable blessing. Have you ever considered what the forests in this country do for us? The answers may surprise you, and after a UK camping trip you might appreciate them all the more.
We love to see people of all cultures and ages delving into nature; in a way, it reminds us of what we have in common. So let’s remind ourselves why the UK’s forests are so important…
A renewable energy goldmine
First off, in purely sensible terms, forests are a lynchpin of our clean energy directives. This issue has become a hot topic, and rightly so; carbon-based power is inherently unsustainable, and we’re discovering that nature and the resources it provides are likely to be pivotal in developing a long-term, sustainable future.
Trees are a biomass energy source: they can be harvested for fuel or clean building materials. A report undertaken by the Forestry Commission in 2013 showed that 12% of Scotland’s wood output is used for commercial fuel purposes. That figure is being reflected elsewhere in the UK, as our consumptive behaviour is being tempered and switched to an eco-friendly (and very doable) alternative.
Conserving our wildlife
Talking of our environmental responsibilities – it’s only right that we try to protect as many plants and animals as possible. British staples like badgers, goldfinches, otters and weasels don’t have many places left for suitable habitation. Where they do still thrive should be at the top of our conservation agenda, lest we lose the bio-diversity that makes the UK so distinctive.
It’s heartening to see an increased focus on conservation within education, ensuring that future generations understand their responsibility to conserving our forest environments. Every living creature is important, and well-maintained woodland is key to fostering the survival of wildlife for years to come.
On average, a UK citizen is responsible for three tonnes of carbon emissions a year. Forests can make a valuable antidote to our activities. The Forestry Commission estimates that a hectare of woodland can nullify the effects of two cars’ worth of fuel output over four to six decades. Since there are over two million hectares in this country, that’s a significant, pro-green difference.
So, aside from renewing us with their visual beauty, trees and plants also help to balance the atmosphere and reduce CO2. That’s a fact worth celebrating!
Flood stoppers and fertilisers
Think of a thunderous shower, hurtling through the forest canopy. Each droplet will take longer to reach the ground, and therefore the soil, which absorbs nutrients better when the run-off is gradual. This preserves groundwater levels, which reach streams and filter into our drinking supplies.
Trees also lock soil tightly against their roots, so it’s hard to displace it. Furthermore, they take some of the brunt when heavy rainfall occurs, minimising the risk of flooding in low-lying areas. Village communities can thank their lucky stars for a nearby forest belt, sucking in a share of dangerous downpours.
As familiar as the forest may seem, look a little deeper and you'll discover a whole host of hidden characteristics working to combat the effects of climate change. Getting back to a green paradise not only soothes the soul, it's good for the environment too. So, do you fancy taking a trip, and showing our woods some love?
With a complete mix of facilities and locations to escape to, each of our campsites symbolise a return to serenity, discovery and being ‘in the moment’. Our list of campsites in the UK is designed to give you a varied choice so that you can find the perfect site for your forest getaway.
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