According to a report released in July this year, London is the greenest capital city in Europe, and compared to others by its size and population density, the third greenest city in the whole of the world!
It may not seem logical on your morning commute, what with the non-stop juggernaut of traffic that sweeps London’s streets, but the actual city contains over 35,000 acres of green public parks, gardens and woodland areas. Rather astoundingly this equals approximately 40% of the whole of London’s surface area. Comparatively, the next great city on the list, Berlin, only has a staggering 14.4% green surface area.
Although central London may in fact be desecrated to the Gods of modern development, and hold court with domineering glass skyscrapers, we still have a wealth of green areas to enjoy in the city. Not only are there the Royal parks such as St. James’ and Regents Park, but out to the east we have the massive Hackney Marshes, and down south west we have the resplendent and gargantuan Richmond Park.
Whilst London is known as one of the most important business epicentres in the world, its green areas are what makes it more than just another city. Visitors can get the best of London’s urban sprawl whilst also finding time to enjoy the verdant scenery and diverse wildlife that it houses. From the deer or Richmond Park to the peregrine falcons that adorn the capital’s buildings, there are sights and sounds that only London can offer.
It may seem like it’s just a good thing for the tourists, and for the locals looking to dip into a little sightseeing, or to take a break from the hustle and bustle, but London’s parks do far more than that! Large park areas and woodlands act as carbon sinks, absorbing the excess CO2, as well as a lot of the other chemical pollutants, that we produce. Our green areas also go a long way to reducing flooding, by absorbing excess rainfall.
With an estimated 4,000 deaths each year caused by poor air quality in the capital, London’s green areas also go a long way towards improving this, and coupled with the introduction of the congestion charge in order to lower emissions, as well as the hydrogen bus, we’re certainly on the right track.
However, we can’t rest on our laurels. With the development of further infrastructure including new road and airport expansion likely to worsen air quality, we need to protect, maintain and expand upon what we have already got.
Image by HerryLawford
Timber is the most commonly used building material that required the least amount of energy to produce. Requiring very little industrial expense in its cultivation, plantations will often do more to combat pollution and climate change than they will to add to it.
Renewable, recyclable and durable, forestry, and by proxy timber production, does a great deal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and thus reduce our carbon footprint. One such way it does this is through the Carbon Sink Effect, whereby carbon compounds will be extracted from the atmosphere and stored in the ‘reservoir’ of the forest, a system endorsed by the Kyoto Protocol.
Forests provide a real wealth of benefits, from the timber that they produce, and their contribution to flood control sustenance (in regards to food and livelihoods) to their uses as recreational areas.
As such it’s important to note where your timber comes from, as illegal logging goes a long way to negating the effects good woodland can have.
Many large high street stores that sell timber products have been caught out by investigations and by various organisations such as Greenpeace, with scandals breaking about the sourcing of their timber. A lot of these companies, it turns out, have been sourcing their wood from overseas in places like Vietnam and South America, where the policies regarding the procurement of timber are relatively slow on the uptake.
At Hugo Carter we ensure that all of our timber has been accredited with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Programmed for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) chain of custody certification, and that its production has kept well within the guidelines laid out for ethically sourced wood in the UK. This process makes it easy for us and for you to trace back the source of the timber, ensuring that it has come from a reputable and ethically sound source.
In the UK we have the Government Timber Procurement Policy, which sets down the policies regarding ethical timber, meaning that timber must be sourced from The Forest Law Enforcement Governance licensed companies.
Ethically sourced timber doesn’t only make us feel great about the timber frames we create, as we look to a more sustainable industry, it goes much, much further than that. Purchasing timber from British ethical suppliers drives the local economy and clears the path for new, innovative products. It creates jobs, but not only that; it creates green jobs, further enabling our transition to a green economy as well as global stability.
Promoting sustainable timber also creates an increased public awareness of the importance of ethically sourced materials, which in turn puts further pressure on companies to stick to the guidelines. So if you’re in favour of a green, sustainable future share this article and let others know that together we can make tomorrow a brighter prospect!
Image by DavidWright
Formed in 1919, The Forestry Commission is a government department which is responsible for the protection, preservation and creation of the forestry in England and Scotland. Split into two departments, for the North and the South respectively, the Welsh Commission recently became part of Natural Resources Wales.
Set up after the First World War, the Forestry Commission was originally tasked with expanding upon depleted British forestry as a result of the war. As such they sought out a vast amount of ex-agricultural land, which was no longer in use. This meant that the Commission then became the largest landowner in the whole of Great Britain.
Over the last century the commission has moved on from just repopulating British forests and are now responsible for many facets of timber production:
The Commission plant many millions of trees, and sustainably harvest around four million tonnes from England and Scotland, each year. Totalling more than one third of domestic total production, this means that we are less dependent upon imported woods and goes some way to lowering our carbon footprint by creating low-carbon materials for the British Industry.
Though it may not seem like it, we are close to losing many British species of tree like the Horse Chestnut. With a lot of wood being imported into the UK that carry pests and disease, we are facing an epidemic of destruction throughout our forests, further exacerbated by climate change which has improved conditions for disease propagation. The Commission is rigorous in its approach to stopping this happen and inspects all imported woods at the ports in order to minimise this threat. They also work to deal with any outbreaks by containing the spread of disease through licensed tree felling.
With areas such as Kilmun and Westonbirt perennially protected from logging, The Commission ensures that Britain’s great forests will remain great for years to come. However, they don’t only protect the country’s trees from destruction, but also the wildlife and ecosystems which thrive in the forests. One major impact we’ve seen as a result of industrial growth and increased timber demand is the rapid decline of native species such as the red squirrel and the dormouse, and the Forestry Commission are making moves to protect and nurture such creatures.
A mainstay of British culture, what with our beaches just being too cold for most of the year, many people take time to visit our greatest forests. As such the Commission make themselves responsible for the facilitation of our jaunts into the woods, creating and up-keeping trails, grounds, cycle routes and more. According to the Forestry Commission’s site this contributes £2 billion yearly to the economy in rural areas, which is not exactly loose change!
One of our favourite organisations, we work strictly within the Commission’s guidelines and hope to emulate their ethics within our company’s practises.
Image by mhillier
Pollution has become a major global problem ever since the Industrial Revolution. We have been burning gasses and producing chemicals at a noxious rate for over a century now and it’s becoming more and more evident that this is extremely detrimental to our health and the planet’s future. We need only look at the pictures of smog from China to realise that something is going desperately wrong, and see that something has to give!
Well, we’re trying to push forwards as a company with the green movement very prominently in our minds. As such we’re trying to take every step to curb our effects on global pollution and reduce our carbon footprint. From our sourcing of materials to the way we can affect air quality in your home, our fight against pollution begins from the ground up.
Typically pollution is caused by industrial chemical reactions and is blamed on the following chemicals:
- Sulfur Oxides (produced by burning fossil fuels and by volcanoes)
- Nitrogen Oxides (most notably Nitrogen Dioxide, is formed by high temperature combustion and in the manufacture of explosives. Reacting with Sulfur Dioxide produces acid rain)
- Carbon Monoxide (the product of incomplete combustion of materials such as wood, coal and natural gas)
- Volatile Organic Compounds (Methane and other Hydrocarbons; Methane is produced by farming and many other industrial processes and is a major contributor to rapid global warming. Hydrocarbon VOCs can catalyse the creation of low-level ozone, and sustain the life of Methane in the air)
These are only a few examples of pollutant chemicals, there are many others including Persistent Free Radicals, Radioactive Pollutants and Ammonia which also contribute a great deal to global warming and creating an unsafe environment.
It’s very easy to blame large manufacturing companies and their plants for the creation of these chemicals and their effects on the atmosphere. After all, it is their industrial processes which will contribute the largest amount to air pollution. What many people ignore is that these chemical plants are trying to keep up with global demand for products, and in doing so having to manufacture things in a way that creates an incredible amount of pollution.
With this in mind, we should all be thinking about our spending habits, the products that we actually buy and the amount of fossil fuels that we burn. Global warming is very much an imminent danger and it means that we must now do something about it before it’s too late. We have already gone some way to reducing pollution by limiting the amount of CFCs that we produce industrially, but there are many more harmful substances we are releasing into our atmosphere at an alarming rate.
With the Kyoto Agreement on its long road to reduce greenhouse emissions and the Gothenburg Protocol limiting pollutant production in the EU, things are certainly on the right track regarding changes in the way we approach pollution. It’s a sad fact that much of the world is behind us on this matter and we can only hope they will realise the damage they are doing soon!
Image by Mikael Miettinen
A charity that is close to our hearts, The Woodland Trust is a conservation charity which seeks to protect and manage the UK’s woodlands. Started by Kenneth Watkins OBE in 1972, the trust now owns over 80 woods in Scotland and an astounding 850 in England, covering 25,000 acres of land.
Surviving on donations from memberships, corporate sponsors and charitable trusts such as lottery funding as well as landfill tax, The Woodland Trust is always open to new donations. You can also sponsor the trust to plant a tree in your name, as we do with every order that is placed with us.
In the years that it’s been running, the Trust has faced an incredible amount of pressure from groups looking to build on their land. Now they have been taking the fight to the big companies, recently campaigning against the HS2 rail network that is proposed to cut through the British countryside.
Though often overlooked as a charity, The Woodland Trust is a very important part of our country’s culture. It conserves ancient woodlands that stand as an epitaph to the generations that have gone before us. The forests are part of our historical heritage, having seen many battles, the revolutions of society and the development of modern culture. Whilst it’s very easy in this day and age to forget about nature and be cocooned in the urban environment, we must remember the benefits that British woodlands bring us.
From absorbing excess pollution from the air to reducing the possibility of flooding, the woodlands are beneficial in many ways to everyone. Possibly the best thing about the trust, however, is that you can go and visit the forests yourself! There’s nothing I enjoy more than taking a long winter’s walk through some of England’s wonderful forestry. Hearing the cold, hard twigs crack under foot as a layer of frost permeates the grounds. It’s a fantastic experience, free and fun for all the family!
The closest Woodland Trust forest to London is probably Whitings Wood in Barnet, North London. Covering 17.5 acres, it’s not an ancient wood, having been planted in 1996, but it’s really come into its own in recent years. Another woodland definitely worth a visit is Penn Wood in Buckinghamshire, an ancient forest more than 400 years old it offers spectacular views and breathtaking scenery. Check out their site and learn about what you can do to get involved in the effort!
We hugely support the Woodland Trust and their efforts to protect woodlands, as part of our support we plant a tree for every order we receive in order to do our part to help woodlands from being destroyed.
Image by Alison Christine
It’s the fashionable thing to do nowadays, with many celebrities jumping on board the crusade to reduce our carbon footprints, and so slow the rapid progression towards global warming. The ironic thing being that many of these A-listers, who have been campaigning for lowering carbon emissions, will do so whilst travelling around the planet on their private jets.
Well that irony hasn’t been lost on us, and at Hugo Carter we are doing everything in our capacity in order to reduce the amount of carbon we create. One such way we seek to achieve this is through carefully monitoring our delivery times in order to find the optimum schedule, so as to save time and prevent excess carbon emissions through burning fuel.
We also try to use as little paper as we can and instead utilise digital systems as much as possible. As we’ve said before we also plant a tree for every single order, another way we have found that we can offset any emissions we do create. As well as using ‘green thinking’ suppliers, we are doing everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint, but we also want to help reduce yours!
One such way you can do this is by purchasing our energy efficient windows. These modern glass windows offer a marked 30% increase in heat preservation, which saves the average family around £170 on their yearly heating bill. This saving has been calculated to off-put a whopping 680kg of carbon emissions, meaning that you yourself can contribute to lowering the global carbon footprint by replacing older energy loss glass with newer, more technologically advanced panes!
Newer wooden frames can even help to further insulate the house, again reducing heating costs. Compared to the plastic uPVC frames that you see adorning most houses, our timber frames produce very little carbon in the manufacturing process.
Another step we take towards running a green company is to always use water based paints on exterior timber finishes rather than oil based. The latter are responsible for releasing an incredible amount of volatile organic compounds into the air that will catalyse the reaction between nitrogen oxides and UV rays, which causes low-level ozone and toxic photochemical smog.
It’s all well and good that these things are being considered nowadays, with the green movement gaining further media attention. The reality is that we need to start taking action in order to actually implement change in our carbon footprints, by considering our everyday practises. From thinking about how we get around to making changes to our households, we can all do things to help the planet. As we’ve shown you, these changes can even result in a saving for you in the long run, so it’s a total win-win situation.
So, we’re doing our part, but are you? Tell us in the comments what kind of things you do in order to offset your carbon emissions! Hopefully we can all benefit by learning from one another.
Our planet is in crisis. We are polluting our atmosphere at an alarming rate, increasing the global temperature and burning through all of our non-renewable resources. Whilst it's easy to point blame at multinational companies and their large-scale industrial processes that release a great deal of harmful products into our atmosphere, the problem is also a lot closer to home.
We need to realise that we are part of the problem and that there are certain, simple steps that we can take in order to minimise our carbon footprints. But what are the green resources us every day people can utilise in order to make this an idea a reality?
Once an idea of science fiction, or at least something that laboratories in the Nevada dessert might be equipped with, solar panels are now a cost effective and easily installed energy saving device that can help out any household. The initial cost can be considerable, though the government have introduced schemes to help introduce solar panels to the UK. The returns are also considerable, and after a few years solar panels often end up paying for themselves.
An often overlooked resource, this country's forestry goes a long way to combating the problems of pollution and carbon offset. Forests act as carbon sinks, sequestering CO2 from the atmosphere. This not only purifies our air, but works effectively against global warming as a result of green-house gas emissions.
What Can We Do About Our Forests?
There are a great deal of charities which work towards preserving and expanding the UK's forests including the marvellous organisation 'The Forestry Comission'. Contributing just a little every month can help these organisations grow and further expand our woodlands. This not only creates fantastic spaces that we can all enjoy, but also means that we are doing our part towards helping the environment.
At Hugo Carter, for instance, we plant a tree in Bisham woods for every single order placed. It's not only our way to help reduce our carbon footprint, but also a way to give back to the natural world which has provided us with the fine timber we use to make our products.
We actively encourage you to get involved in local forestry charities or preservation. It's a great way to spend some time outdoors and do your bit! If you've got any other suggestions about how we can utilise green resources let us know.
In recent times we have seen a great deal of properties built to quite simply house us. High rises and housing estates that offer no individuality, but simply seek to place us all in concrete boxes – concentric circles of red brick buildings with the same concrete tiles that buzz around new towns, distinctly lacking in personality or beauty. Developers are always looking to capitalise upon any shred of land they can find, and if it wasn't for institutions to protect areas of historical interest, we would lose some truly fascinating sites in lieu of a cheap housing fix.
So let's be thankful for the English Heritage. It is their prerogative to preserve sites of natural beauty, outstanding architecture and historic sites, so that we can still understand, care for and enjoy the wonderfully woven tapestry of England's unique history.
But it's not just England's history – it's our history. The past with its architecture; its battlefields; its parks, is the platform we stand upon as we look to the future. Without knowing and understanding the past we are, as the saying goes, 'doomed to repeat it'.
It's what gives our simple streets such meaning and if that's not important then I don't know what is.
This isn't, however, an exclusive club that is run for your amusement, and they are always looking for people to get involved and work towards protecting English heritage sites! This can be done in a variety of ways:
You can volunteer to help out the organisation, with a whole load of things that you can get involved with. From stewarding properties to the curatorial cleaning of historical artefacts and even gardening, it's a great way to learn new skills through their training programmes, meet new people and get up close and personal with your history!
If you think that there is a significant site near you that hasn't been recognised, or a building that ought to be listed, you can also submit places to their evaluation process! This is a great way to further preserve places of cultural, historical or architectural importance that have been overlooked!
You can even go one step further and take ownership of a heritage site! Throughout the UK there are communities of people who have taken it upon themselves to up-keep significant sites that the local authorities no longer bother with, or want to sell off from falling into disrepair or the hands of developers.
Image by David Dixon
The year 2015 is the time at which the successor the Kyoto Protocol is set to be finalised, with the deadline for implementation set for 2020, when the Kyoto Protocol's agreement is up.
What is the Kyoto Protocol?
First signed in 1997, then brought into effect in 2005, the Kyoto Protocol, or Kyoto Agreement, is an international treaty that was set in place in order to ensure a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the planet's industrialised countries. It was set up as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is itself a treaty whose goal is to reduce the threat of human influence on global climate.
It was set in place after it was deemed that the most developed countries on the planet were responsible for an overwhelming amount of the world's carbon emissions as a bi-product of over 150 years of industrial processes.
There were 192 countries that signed the agreement, this included every country in the EU and the UN, except Andora, Canada, South Sudan and USA.
It was undertaken in two stages: the first commitment period between 2008-2012, and the current second commitment period between 2013-2020. During these periods, strict limits were set for the amount of emissions produced, and the expected reduction from each individual state.
The second period has seen a few nations drop out of the agreement, whilst the protocol's demands have increased.
The Kyoto Protocol isn't solely about reducing emissions, but is also a staunch advocate of renewable energy sources and the reduction of global deforestation.
The 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference
Having taken place in Doha, Qatar, this conference marked the end of the Kyoto Protocol's first agreement, and the beginning of the next. It was at this conference that an agreement was made for the protocol's successor must be developed and agree upon by 2015. During the following years, until 2020, the UNFCCC states that global greenhouse emissions must be cut by 15%.
It was also agreed upon at this conference that all countries around the world must start working together, with no exceptions, in 2015 as the protocol's call for reductions increased.
The 2015 Kyoto Protocol and Beyond
Having finally taken the step to include all the countries around the world, the new 2015 Kyoto agreement will see massive leaps taken towards the reduction of greenhouse emissions.
With the promising results demonstrated between the years of 2005 and 2014, we can only hope to see even greater reductions made. Getting all countries to agree and implement change will be a real uphill struggle though, and I'm sure it won't be plain sailing!
Image by Pavel Ahmed
As you may have recently read in the news, the government's Green Deal cash back scheme has been shut down in the past week due to an overwhelming flood of applicants looking to make take advantage. The final £70million that was available as part of the scheme was taken up in a staggering three days.
The cash back deal was offering £7,600 to those who engaged with the government's Green Deal campaign, making improvements to the energy efficiency of their homes. However, this doesn't mean that there aren't still advantages to getting involved.
A government initiative that has sought to reduce the amount of energy we waste at home, the Green Deal can still help make savings on energy bills as well as contribute to an overall reduction in this country's carbon footprint.
How Can The Green Deal Help You?
The initiative helps you get connected with the sorts of companies that can install Green Deal stamped products, as well as any other work that might need to be undertaken on your property. It also grants you access to a few different payment options for the improvements you've undertaken, which until recently included the cash back scheme, but still offers specialist loans providers through 'Green Deal Finance'.
Typical improvements that can be undertaken on pretty much any property include:
- solid wall, cavity and loft insulation
- draught proofing (both windows and doors as well as walls)
- installation of energy efficient double glazing
- installation of renewable energy products like solar panels and heat pumps
There are some pretty neat tools that will show you the kind of savings you can expect to see when you make these changes including this energy grants calculator which can show you what improvements you can make, as well as any grants that are available. Check it out here.
The next step is to book an assessment – someone needs to come to your property in order to evaluate whether the Green Deal can help you. Unfortunately these are often quite costly, though you can get in touch with the providers and get a quote before you arrange a time or date.
It's also the case that many listed buildings, and those in a conservation area often struggle to get green lit for the Green Deal due to building restrictions.
An initiative with good intentions, it was poorly received until the cash back incentive, and now that that's gone, we'll have to wait and see how it fairs. It's a sad fact that many people still see green living as an excess rather than a necessity, but hopefully the scheme will only grow more popular from now on.
Image by tpsdave
I’m truly passionate about sustainability. It’s at the core of our ethos at Hugo Carter, and something I try and champion in my every day life. I feel we have a duty to the planet to respect the resources we have, and in this modern age, we don’t really have an excuse for being ignorant of our effects on the climate and global environment.
Working with a great deal of construction companies, I’ve noticed that a lot of them will simply plum for the most cost effective options without considering sustainability, or carbon reduction. This has increasingly become the case as the demand for affordable housing has blossomed in recent years.
When talking about eco-friendly construction materials we have so many factors to consider, such as how they’re made, how far they have to travel, how long they will last. But these are factors often overlooked by large construction companies who just want to use whatever is more convenient for them.
Below are my five favourite, inventive and interesting green materials that can be used in the construction of properties, which will not only contribute to a carbon footprint reduction, but also new ways of thinking about construction.
The manufacturing of traditional clay or concrete tiles is very energy intensive, and when they’re installed they merely sit there as a layer of protection. With solar tiles, you get all the protective qualities of traditional tiles with the added bonus of green, renewable energy production for your property!
An easily sustainable material, we get most of this country’s cork from Portugal, so it doesn’t have too far to travel. It’s a long lasting green alternative for a variety of construction materials such as bricks.
Once only considered for holding up your tomato plants, bamboo is a cost effective material which grows back extremely rapidly and ca be used to really cool effect in flooring and walls.
Simple to install, paper insulation is a combination of recycled news papers and cardboard. A green alternative to chemical fillers, it’s as thermally efficient, fire retardant and insect resistant.
Recycled from old car tires, or simply harvested from a sustainable rubber tree plantation, rubber can be turned into real high quality, durable flooring for properties.
Have any other examples of great renewable materials to be used in construction? Let me know if the comments below!
Image by Darwin Bell
I’m a lover of all things to do with design. Whether that’s the architraves on our new timber window system or the engine within a Mercedes-Benz. I enjoy looking at not only the beauty of the model, but understanding how and why it was created in such a way. There’s something about the sleek and highly tuned body of a car that I greatly admire, and which I have been known to fork over a fair bit of cash to own myself. In the last few years I have seen this love affair of mine coupled with another of my passions – energy efficiency.
Large automotive companies have had to develop cars that release less CO2 into the atmosphere, and have come up with some really inventive ways of manufacturing vehicles which are still as powerful as their gas guzzling counterparts, but with a view on sustainability and a reduction in carbon emissions.
Perhaps the first of its ilk, the Smart Car has been much maligned for years, with people referring to it as a dodgem and dismissing it as a flimsy toy car. However, I see it in a totally different light. In my opinion, it’s a well thought out design bred on the functionality of running a car in the city. Capable of fitting into small spaces, it requires far less petrol than conventional cars and turns sharply down the narrow lanes of city back streets. Now with an electric range on the market the Smart fortwo electric drive, which produces no CO2 emissions whatsoever, it’s, for me, one of the best solutions on the market for those who need a run around in the city.
The Smart Car and the Prius aren’t the only ones on the market to do this of course, with innovative measures such as BlueEFFICIENCY from Mercedes Benz having revolutionised the fuel injection system to cut emissions.
Of course, the car companies wouldn’t be doing this off of their own back – or I don’t imagine they would at least. This change in attitudes has come down to the European Emissions Standards, which deems that only cars with a certain standard of fuel efficiency, and with low exhaust emissions, can be traded within Europe. One of the largest markets in the world for automobiles, this has caused a huge knock on effect in the global market, forcing companies across the planet to change the way that they approach ecological car design.
Much like the European Windows Energy Rating system (WER), which grades a window’s energy efficiency depending upon how much heat it retains, it’s good to see that Europe are once again on the cutting edge of green energy production and carbon emission reduction!
Image by Mariordo
Kew Gardens, the jewel of South West London, world renowned for its exotic collection of plants and horticulture, offers so much more than a simple day out. For years now they have been running courses educating students, scientists and laymen on the art of conservation, horticulture and botanics.
Available to both national and international students at Kew and Wakeworth, these courses demonstrate the just how integral the institution is. One of my personal favourites are the daily courses that they run for schools and young children. I think it’s incredibly integral for children to be taught from a young age about the importance of conservation and the effects of plant life on our environment.
It’s very easy for children brought up in the city to miss out on this knowledge, and when you’re surrounded by the concrete expanse of London and its juggernaut of carbon emissions, it’s easy to neglect the countryside and the benefits of being surrounded by natural plant life.
For the early years, Kew Gardens offer courses which are designed to promote an awareness of nature, whilst also creating a fun and captivating environment for the children to explore. This involves meeting the ‘Wakehurst Green Fairy’, who the children need to help find fallen leaves and flowers to complete her dress.
For the slightly older kids, there’s the opportunity to get to grips with the more scientific stuff. Running a day long course, Kew get enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers to show them around the grounds from the awesome and intricate eco-systems of the Bog Garden to the ‘Mini-Beast Safari’, where children are shows the symbiotic nature of plants, insects and small animals.
Though it’s not just about the scientific side of ecology, but also the creative. Kew Gardens courses for children offer youngsters the ability to get creative with nature too, whether through creating works of art from the plant life or photography courses. I feel that this is absolutely integral to get kids excited and involved in the world of ecology and our natural environment.
As we all know, we’re having to rapidly come to grips with the effects of global warming and climate change. I believe if we start educating our children from a young age on the benefits of conservation - about how trees are so important not only for the wood and paper that we use, but also the oxygen we breathe - how plants and their ecosystem of insects are the cornerstone of all the species that live on this planet, we will ensure that future generations don’t make the same mistakes that past generations have done.
Image by Klaus Henkel