School of Earth and Environment

Terrific Scientific's Rainforest Legacy: Terrific Tropical Trees

27.04.2017 - 10:44

Trees for life, Kenya – photo © Bettys and Taylors Group

Trees for life, Kenya – photo © Bettys and Taylors Group

Udzungwa Forest Project, Tanzania - photo © Dr Andy Marshall

Udzungwa Forest Project, Tanzania - photo © Dr Andy Marshall

United Bank of Carbon is delighted to launch Terrific Tropical Trees, whereby a tree is being planted in one of four new African forests for every school that completes the BBC's Terrific Scientific "Trees" Experiment. 

United Bank of Carbon (UBoC), a registered charity run from the University of Leeds, helps forge partnerships between businesses and international conservation initiatives. 

Terrific Scientific is BBC Learning’s science project for 2017, with the Trees experiment taking place throughout May. In this, children from the UK’s 25,000 plus primary schools will learn why trees are important for our climate and then survey the trees that grow at their school, taking measurements and identifying the species from leaf charts supplied by The Woodland Trust. They’ll also count their trees, so they can work out how much carbon is stored at their school, and then upload the result to the BBC's Terrific Scientific map. Finally, they'll send their data to the Leeds Ecosystem, Atmosphere and Forest (LEAF) Centre at the University of Leeds for further processing.  - and by doing this they'll automatically adopt at least one Terrific Tropical Tree. 

Terrific Tropical Trees was created to teach children about the value of tropical trees, and to show that steps can be taken to combat climate change. The trees in Kenya form part of Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate's Trees for Life project and will support local tea growers and schools. The trees in Tanzania are being sponsored by Samuel Grant Packaging as part of a University of York forest restoration experiment in partnership with Reforest Africa and Flamingo Land. The Ugandan trees are being planted by the Amuria Schools Tree Planting Project, and the Madagascan trees by women and children in the Education, Développement, Environnement Naturel project ‘Installing Forest Ownership Spirit in Our Community’ - with both being managed by the International Tree Foundation and sponsored by private donation. 

Dr Cat Scott, Environmental Scientist and LEAF Coordinator said,Today’s children are going to be the people in 20 or 30 years’ time making the big decisions about how society deals with the ongoing threat of climate change – we think it’s important that they grow up with an appreciation of the way that different parts of our environment are interconnected.” 

Tom Bliss, UBoC'S Business Development Coordinator said, "Learning about climate change can be quite worrying, so we wanted to deliver a positive result that the children could feel part of. We chose to plant in Africa because tropical trees regulate the climate much better than UK trees, and investing there will also help hard-pressed local communities with jobs, food and other benefits from the trees. This is also a perfect example how businesses, academics and forest projects can work together for the public good - which is what UBoC is all about."