Many thanks to Christine from Saltdean Trees for sharing this article drafted for a local magazine. 

We are currently facing two global environmental emergencies: biodiversity loss and climate change. Many of their underlying causes are linked to unsustainable development and our everyday actions.

Nature-based solutions are actions that work with wildlife and natural processes to help mitigate and overcome society’s challenges. For example, forest restoration could counter up to two thirds of the accumulated carbon dioxide emissions in the Earth’s atmosphere, contributing decisively to limit global warming below 1.5°C. Restored natural landscapes can draw down carbon from the atmosphere, and protect us from flooding.

What is so hopeful is that we can play a part in our towns by organised planting of trees and wildflowers along verges and on waste ground.  We need the council’s permission and cooperation to implement this on our streets but are working towards a programme of tree planting wherever possible. With tree specialists we are soon organising the planting of trees and wild flowers on the back half of roadside verges.

Saltdean Residents Association are making admirable progress on planting trees in various suitable places. However all of us can do more in our own gardens/outdoor spaces. Converting our gardens into car parking spaces has increased the risk of flooding and a reduction in biodiversity and beauty of our towns and villages. However it is possible to make efficient car parking spaces combined with grass, allowing us to have the best of both worlds.

You could also consider adding small trees or bee and insect friendly flowers in pots. and in your lawns.  Try to keep some of those bold little dandelions as they are one of the earliest flowers that bees love and thrive on and they really are so pretty. If you really can’t bear a dandelion in your lawn why not dig them up and move them to their own little bed. The bees won’t mind where they are.

We all need to work together to meet our biodiversity and climate targets in order to leave a world fit to live in for our children.  We are really fortunate to live in this glorious place, let’s all of us help give it the care it deserves.
Christine Harfleet