Why are trees important?

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Trees have many benefits to our environment, landscape and people.


  • Soil Health - fallen leaf litter creates new organic matter in the soil, an important element of new topsoil creation and nutrient enrichment. Additionally, the shade created by trees helps to moderate soil temperature.

  • Noise Pollution - planting "noise buffers" composed of trees and shrubs can reduce noise by five to ten decibels for every 30m width of woodland (Forest Research 2021)

  • Flood Control - rain hits the ground at higher speeds where there is a lack of tree cover. A canopy of leaves, branches and trunks slows down the rain before it hits the ground simply by getting in the way, this is known as ‘interception’.

  • Cooling effects - livestock and crops protected from heat-moisture loss and heat stroke. Vegetation helps lower temperatures because leaves absorb the suns rays and omit moisture known as ’Evapotranspiration’.

  • Clean Air - trees are effective air filters. Some species, such as the London Plane, are particularly resistant to air pollution and can help filter harmful pollutants by trapping them on their leaves and bark.  

  • Reducing erosion - trees also provide the added benefit of preventing soil erosion and protecting our watercourses from harmful pollution in run-off via root compaction.  

  • Carbon Sinks - trees lock up carbon, reducing the amount in the atmosphere contributing to climate change. If we are to achieve our ambitions of becoming a carbon neutral county by 2045, we will need to drastically increase tree cover in the county. A tree for every person is a huge step in the right direction. 

  • Food Production - agroforestry is a land management approach that combines trees and shrubs with crop and livestock farming systems. This practice delivers a multitude of benefits both for the farm and for nature. Whilst providing vital sources of food, enhancing food production etc.  

  • Habitat for wildlife - trees provide vital food and shelter for a wide range of species, including birds, insects and other small mammals. They also help to provide habitat connectivity for declining wildlife. While you are out and about, you can record any sighting of an animal plant or fungus seen in Leicestershire.

  • Climate control - in this current period of climate change, the main driver for increasing CO2 is human activity. As trees specialise in removing excess CO2 from our atmosphere there has never been a more important time to plant more and protect what we have.


In the last 10 years, we’ve planted over 150 native trees on our dairy farm. They’re incredibly important to us, helping to capture and store carbon, provide homes and food for wildlife, shade and shelter for our cows, as well as improve soil health and clean water. All while adding beauty to our small corner of the Leicestershire Wolds landscape.



  • Archaeology - ancient woods (post 16C in England and Wales) retain important archaeological features, often from past industry and management, and can also protect large features like earthworks from damage.  

  • Sense of Place - the relationship between people and spatial settings. Often used in relation to those characteristics that make a place special or unique, as well as to those that foster a sense of authentic human attachment and belonging.  

  • Aesthetic/Beauty - trees provide aesthetic and beauty to local landscapes, providing vital green infrastructure and access to nature.

  • Green Space - is multifunctional – it provides social, economic, and environmental benefits. As most of our communities exist within the urban environment, the provision of green space is essential for the wellbeing of society.

  • Connectivity and habitat continuity - trees and shrubs help to provide habitat connectivity and continuity to fragmented habitats. Tree lines and hedgerows are also used by important wildlife species such as bats in order to safely navigate between sites, providing cover and food.

  • Natural Materials - trees provide us with the materials required for tools and shelter, e.g. for house building.

  • Medicines - willow bark might be the best known of tree-based medicines. A natural precursor to aspirin, willow bark was harvested by native Americans to treat pain and fevers. There are also several natural based medicines derived from our environment from trees and plants.

  • Landscape History - the way in which humanity has changed the physical appearance of the environment – both present and past. Woodlands are crucial in this evolution, first colonising Britain around 10,000 years ago, following the last glaciation.


  • Tourism - woodlands provide eco-tourism and heritage opportunities for income generation  

  • Health and Wellbeing - the benefits of trees and woods on our mental and physical health are well-documented. As well as improving air quality they provide a space for people to relax and exercise, aiding mental and physical health.  

  • Communities - many woodlands are at the heart of local communities, giving access to local green space on the doorstep and helping to preserve local heritage.  

  • Ownership and Pride - local communities have a sense of place, some even volunteer to be custodians of local woodlands helping to protect and enhance them for future generations.  

  • Education - woodlands provide informal education and learning opportunities, provided through guided walks in woods and activities. Helping people to appreciate their value for people and nature, as well as their role in history and landscape evolution.  

  • Natural Play - many children interact with natural elements of the environment in an imaginative way, with activities such as climbing trees, building dens, and cooking outdoors.

  • Local economy and business - from flood mitigation, biofuels, to health and wellbeing, the many benefits trees provide are worth over £270 billion to the country’s economy. Tree lined streets increase the value of property between 5% and 18%. You can read more details about ecosystem benefits to growth and our economy in the High Level Natural Capital Assessment.

  • Shelter and food - woodlands provide shelter for both humans and nature, as well as providing food supply. 

  • Inspires creativity - woodlands can promote creativity by providing inspiration and access to nature and its benefits.