May is the perfect time of the year for a walk in the woods. Birds are singing, trees are coming into blossom and the bluebells are out.
Every May, The Tree Council encourages people to get outside and enjoy the trees in their neighbourhoods by taking a walk in their local woods, parks and public gardens. This year is no exception and community groups, local authorities, environmental organisations and Tree Warden networks will be organising guided woodland walks and tree trails up and down the country.
Walk in the Woods Month (throughout May) presents the perfect opportunity for people to find out more about trees and experience the many benefits they bring us, at the same time as enjoying a breath of fresh air and some outdoor exercise.
Trees enhance any landscape, promote healthy lifestyles and provide a vital habitat for wildlife. In urban areas trees improve air quality by removing pollutants from the atmosphere, reducing solar radiation and lowering the air temperature in summer.
There’s also evidence to suggest that people who live near trees get along better with their neighbours, feel safer and experience fewer crimes, and experience all the good things trees do for us. The theme of this year’s Walk in the Woods festival is ‘Rooting For Trees’.
The more that people understand their patch, the more confident they will be in conserving, campaigning and standing up for them as well as being inspired to plant more. It is also an annual reminder that more trees and woodlands need to be planted now if there are to be any for future generations to enjoy. The importance of engaging a local community with its trees can really be a matter of life and death.
Walkers should keep to pathways, not trespass on private land and remember that trees and woods are home to flora and fauna that must be shown respect.
Most people don’t have to travel far to find a wood, nature reserve or other green space. Some of the finest trees in our area can be found in the grounds of St James’ Hospital, not forgetting Victoria and Milton Parks and Southsea Common.
Details of Walk in the Woods 2016 events can be found on The Tree Council’s Near You map treecouncil.org.uk/Take-Part/Near-You
If you would like to get involved and help celebrate and guard your community’s trees by becoming a tree warden, please contact me on (023) 9266 7962 or through the website portsmouthtree.org.uk
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