£10.5 million of new research to investigate role of trees in tackling climate change

The University of Gloucestershire and Imperial College London are coordinating new research announced by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) exploring ways in which trees, woods and forest can help address climate change.

Six large scale research projects have been commissioned by the government-funded UKRI in the first tranche of projects to go ahead under the Future of UK Treescapes Programme.

Dr Julie Urquhart from the University of Gloucestershire and Prof Clive Potter from Imperial College London, who have been appointed Treescapes Programme Ambassadors, believe the research could make a significant contribution to expanding the UK’s treescapes to meet climate goals and reverse decades of biodiversity decline in the countryside.

The Treescapes projects will help to inform decisions about how to expand tree cover, with the upcoming COP26 climate negotiations taking place in Glasgow in November and the UK Government’s commitment to plant 1.5 billion trees by 2050 as part of its target to achieve net zero.

With the involvement of 13 universities and research institutes and more than 40 non-academic partners, the first round of funded projects brings together teams of natural and social scientists, together with arts and humanities researchers.

They will investigate both the natural and human dimensions of woodland expansion and resilience, employing state-of-the-art research to examine how best to establish, expand and protect UK treescapes. Find out more about this story on the university website.

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