The areas of woodland as a proportion of land mass in various countries are:
Isle of Man 6%
United Kingdom 13%
Continental Europe 44%
As you can see, we could plant many more trees on the Island before we even come close to the situation in the UK.
The Biodiversity Convention, to which the Isle of Man is now a co-signatory, has several simple aspirations to improve habitats and contribute to a world-wide attempt to combat the effects of climate change for future generations in a sustainable way.
By planting trees we can assist these efforts, while at the same time improving the visual beauty of the island and encouraging an increasing biodiversity – see below how trees support large numbers of insect species, for example.
The average family car puts out about 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a year. An acre of trees absorbs about the same amount in a year, neatly enough. So the more trees we plant, the more carbon dioxide is absorbed and stored.
New woodlands also create wildlife corridors and richly diverse habitats for birds, insects and small mammals. This helps to make a wide range of sustainable havens for species that are under threat from other forms of land use. So, increasing the biodiversity of the land provides food and protection for birds and insects. And insects are the main pollinators of many sorts of agricultural crops.
Woodland plays a major part in absorbing rain and in slowing the rate at which surplus water drains off the land. This helps to avoid flash flooding which is becoming much more of a problem with the heavier rainfalls we are increasingly seeing.
Numbers of insect species hosted by different trees:
Downy Birch 334
Willow (all types) 266
Scots Pine 172