London is already home to eight million trees but, believe it or not, that's not really enough for a city of its size.
When it comes to the environment and what we can do to improve it, and in some cases even save it, it really does feel as if the tide is beginning to turn. More and more people and, perhaps more importantly, corporations are starting to realize that something needs to be done when it comes to global warming, the use of fossil fuels for energy, and the deforestation of the planet.
That last one is a biggie. Yes, we need buildings to live in and for other numerous reasons, but at what cost? Our planet's rainforests are being decimated at an alarming rate and something needs to be done about it. How about adding more trees to the cities we already have? It's an idea that campaigners in London are getting on board with despite the UK's capital already being home to eight million trees.
The World Economic Forum reports that 40,000 brand new trees are being planted in London in order to take the focus away from the ever-growing number of highrise buildings in the city. London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, is a firm believer in the project, putting £1.5 million (almost $2 million) into a woodland fund for the nation's capital.
Eight million trees may sound like a lot, but one of the reasons this initiative is taking place is because London is lagging behind other European cities. According to Sarah Lom of The Tree Council, just 13% of the UK is covered by trees. That's a long way behind the European average of 37%. Research also shows that it could save a lot of money in the long run since trees reduce pollution, store carbon, and protect people in heatwaves, thus reducing the strain on healthcare.
At this moment in time, there are more people than trees in London with the population standing at around 8.8 million. At the current rate, by 2041 that number will have increased to 10.8 million. Hopefully, if this woodland fund does its job and the initiative continues, by that time the number of trees will outnumber the amount of people in London.