News from our Borough Council
Global Warming and Norfolk – the Great Tree planting Plan.
Global climate is the average climate over the entire planet. And the reason scientists and people are concerned is that Earth's global climate is changing. The planet is warming up fast—faster than at any time scientists know about from their studies of Earth's entire history – and this will affect the way we live our lives worldwide. The changes we must make are daunting, and already we are seeing initiatives and opportunities as concern for Climate Change becomes mainstream. A simple local initiative is tree planting. Here in Norfolk our County Council has announced an initiative to plant 1,000,000 trees (approximately 1 for each person in Norfolk) over the next 4/5 years, and our Borough is working on a proposal to plant an additional 150,000. What this means locally is that parish councils and other local organisations, including schools, businesses and organisations as well as land owners and individuals will have the opportunity to participate in these schemes. I know that as part of the debate in Kings Lynn and Norfolk Councillor Sandra Squires gave each councillor a tree and they were an amazing selection of traditional Norfolk trees - including walnut, ash, chestnut, oak, willow to name some. Hopefully leylandii are not considered indigenous On average, one acre of new forest can sequester about 2.5 tons of carbon annually. Young trees absorb CO2 at a rate of 13 pounds per tree each year. Trees reach their most productive stage of carbon storage at about 10 years at which point they are estimated to absorb 48 pounds of CO2 per year. So on these numbers, an acre of mature woodland can absorb 9 tonnes per annum, and would hold around 400 trees. (Forestry Commission plantations typically have 900 per acre at planting). The Committee on Climate Change are very clear that the current approach to land use is not sustainable, and we should be aiming for around 30,000 hectares of new woodland in the UK every year – nearly a million hectares by 2050. If it were all in one place (which of course it won’t be) that would mean a new forest the size of Norfolk and Suffolk together. (one hectare = 2.5 acres). Nationally, around 13% of the UK is woodland. In England it is 10% and in Norfolk 7%. The 1,000,000 trees offered by Norfolk County Council will cover 100 hectares, or 1 km2. In the UK, the CO2 per individual is around 6 tonnes (World Population Review). On the basis of these numbers, an individual would require say 300 Mature trees to be carbon neutral…or 2/3 of an acre. Stoke Ferry has a population of around 1,150 (estimate, 2016) so if we want to participate at the level of 1 tree for each inhabitant from the 2 councils. To put this in context, if Stoke Ferry plants 2,500 trees these will meet the carbon output of 8 inhabitants when mature. My view is that the true value of this exercise from a climate change view point is that is provides a starting block for the commitment we must all make if we are to stabilise climate change, and should act as a catalyst to make us all think of what more we can do, Trees are a fantastic start, and will give great benefits in promoting bio diversity, wildlife, bio diversity. In this case the first step on a long journey is also a highly pleasing one, and the longest journey starts with a small step. The main thing we must all do is consider how our actions will need to change. And here is a list of simple everyday things we can do to improve our environment, our health and that of our planet. Change a light Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Drive less Walk, bike, carpool or take public transport more often. You'll save one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile you don't drive! Recycle more You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling just half of your household waste. Check your tyres Keeping your tires inflated properly can improve your gas mileage by more than 3 percent. Every gallon of petrol saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Use less hot water It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Use less hot water by taking shorter and cooler showers and washing your clothes in cold or warm instead of hot water (more than 500 pounds of carbon dioxide saved per year). Avoid products with a lot of packaging You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you reduce your rubbish by 10 percent. Adjust your thermostat Moving your thermostat down just 2 degrees in winter and up 2 degrees in summer could save about 2,000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. Plant a tree A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime. Turn off electronic devices Simply turning off your television, DVD player, stereo, and computer, when you're not using them, will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year. This is not exhaustive and there are many who live here who are much more knowledgeable than I. Most important is that we should all enage with the facts and then consider how we can participate…some will be drawn to activism such as Extinction Rebellion but for most of us this is a time to consider what we are comfortable with doing and being aware of what we can do to cut our consumption of energy and so our own C02 outputs. What would be great is if the Pump is able to devote a page per edition addressing environmental matters, and I would like to encourage everyone to consider contributing to our knowledge of how to participate in the battle to take control of climate change. And remember, we will have to answer our grandchildren’s questions of what we actually did. Tom’s tip When boiling the kettle, fill only with the water you need to boil
Tom Ryves Borough Councillor KL&WN