Why woodland creation and management? 

Trees are vital for our planet. They naturally absorb CO2, so represent a cost-effective way of removing carbon emissions from the atmosphere. At the same time, they can deliver many other benefits such as wildlife habitats and places for people to enjoy nature.  For these reasons, the UK is committed to a huge increase in forest cover. However, our understanding of all these processes is incomplete.

Planting trees at a large enough scale to achieve net zero while realising all the benefits that woodlands can deliver will require careful planning. Without this planning, we could even end up causing more harm than good, releasing CO2 instead of storing it and accelerating biodiversity loss.

Objectives

NetZeroPlus will gather evidence to allow decision makers to explore the GGR consequences of different tree-planting options, helping identify “the right tree in the right place”. NetZeroPlus will also provide valuable insights on how tree-planting can deliver benefits for both people and nature, pioneering a decision-making approach that considers all the effects of land use change. 

Our Approach

Our woodland creation and management Demonstrator, NetZeroPlus, gathers evidence to explore the GGR consequences of different tree-planting options for achieving net zero and helps identify how to make sure we plant "the right tree in the right place".
Partners, to address this complex challenge, include UK land use policy makers from Forestry authorities, Defra, as well as private and NGO sector partners.
This is an exciting, highly interdisciplinary approach to answering the surprisingly challenging question of finding "The Right Tree in the Right Place" and setting the UK on the path to delivering net zero emissions by 2050. 

Principal Investigator

Professor Ian Bateman OBE, University of Exeter

Research team / project partners
Researchers from the Universities of Exeter and Aberdeen, the National Trust and Forest Research, as well as over 40 project partners including policy makers, all the forestry authorities, many large landowners from the NGO sector and networks to represent farmers and the timber and building sectors.