Trust laments lack of woodland cover

The UK's woodland cover is insufficient to meet social needs and there should be 77,000ha more across the country, a leading conservation charity advised this week.

The Woodland Trust maintains that the UK's woodland cover is one of the smallest in Europe. It argues that more is needed close to UK population centres.

"We need more woods for people," demanded conservation policy adviser Nick Collinson. "Woods should be located where need is greatest and where they can provide maximum benefits for communities in towns and in the countryside."

The trust has developed an access standard to identify where woods are needed. It says that trees improve health by encouraging exercise and reducing stress. They also improve air quality, provide shade, encourage learning and recreation.

The trust recommends that no-one should live more than 500m from accessible woodland of at least 2ha, although 90 per cent of the UK population does not.

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