Campaign launched to encourage public to plant more trees and flowers

Government drive comes ahead of key nature and climate summits this year.

A bee on lavender
A bee on lavender

People are being urged to plant more trees and flowers as part of efforts to tackle climate change and nature loss in a new Government campaign.

The push – backed by the Wildlife Trusts, Woodland Trust, National Trust, Horticultural Trades Association and Royal Horticultural Society – is also encouraging the public to restore community spaces and get out into nature.

Activities that people can take part in include planting flowers that support pollinators, building insect hotels, creating veg patches or letting their grass grow, or join an existing nature project run by environmental organisations.

The campaign is being launched on World Environment Day and the Environment Department (Defra) said it formed part of the Government’s efforts to drive action on tackling nature loss and natural solutions that tackle climate change and boost wildlife.

It comes ahead of the UK hosting major international summits this year, including next week’s G7 leaders’ meeting and the UN Cop26 climate summit in November, as well as a major UN biodiversity summit in China in October.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow at a community planting group in East London (Defra/PA)
Environment Minister Rebecca Pow at a community planting group in East London (Defra/PA)

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “The world has an extraordinary opportunity at Cop26 to come together to tackle climate change and reverse biodiversity loss.

“Plant For Our Planet is a chance for the public to take part, planting flowers and trees, restoring a community space and getting out into nature.”

Dr Richard Benwell, chief executive of Wildlife and Countryside Link coalition of conservation groups, said:  “Our planet is in trouble, but we really can dig ourselves out of this crisis.

“Each action that adds to our natural world – every bulb,  sowing, and sapling – is a step toward restoring our wildlife and beating climate change.”

He said the Government initiative to inspire community action could provide a boost, if it comes alongside strong legal protections and new laws for nature.

Sue Biggs, director general of the Royal Horticultural Society, said plants and gardening played a vital role in tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.

“As the UK’s leading gardening charity we continue to support millions of members, gardeners, and visitors in finding ever more sustainable ways to garden and promote nature-based solutions that help combat climate change.

“I would strongly urge everyone to plant for our planet and play their part in making the UK a greener and more beautiful place.”

People are being encouraged to share their #PlantForOurPlanet activities on social media and digital channels.

Green groups will also be able to nominate “nature heroes” – outstanding individuals, groups or projects which showcase the benefits of planting and supporting wildlife.

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