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Making connections to combat climate change

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Michael Cunningham, director at 9Trees, has worked in the conservation and wildlife sector for many years. In his blog post below he outlines the rationale behind 9Trees, and calls upon Partnership members to help him spread the word. 

My story, like so many people who are concerned about the environment, is centred around my growing anxiety about climate change and an increasing sense of urgency to take personal action.

After many years working in a range of sectors, and most recently in conservation, I have decided I must take action on what I think is the biggest problem facing humanity.

Until systematic and political change happens that radically changes how we use energy, we will all continue to have a carbon footprint that I believe we can, and must, take responsibility for, something we can offset through the planting of trees. Therefore 9Trees was born.

The average person’s carbon footprint is about 11 tones per year and one tree captures about one tonne of carbon in its lifetime. 9Trees enables people to sign up to a scheme that allows trees to be planted on their behalf. The aim is to create woodlands which offset people’s personal carbon with the help of environmentally conscious landowners or farmers who see the benefits of widening their hedgerows or turning marginal land into woodland.

We are the link between people who have the desire to tackle climate change but don’t have the land or time to plant trees.

So now we need altruistic farmers and subscribers! This is where, as a grassroots community interest company, we need all the help we can get in launching this project. We are already speaking to all kinds of organisations, from local authorities, wildlife trusts, landowners, businesses and community groups. We are also in the process of confirming our first site for planting in Mid Wales.

We know there are amazing partnerships out there to be had and connections to be made, and building on these is going to be central to our success. It is one of the things I am really enjoying about being part of the Bristol Green Capital Partnership. Since attending my first nature-themed Green Mingle at We the Curious on 7 June to launch Bristol Festival of Nature 2018, I have met so many inspiring and interesting people. I have found great connections and been offered good advice. We are lucky to be part of a supportive environment within a creative city that has so much to offer in the development of a more sustainable world.

That is why I am asking all Partnership members to help spread the word about our project, and let’s make it a Partnership-wide initiative. It would be fantastic if we could all spend just 10 minutes helping other members by sharing information about what they are doing. This could simply be sharing and liking their projects on social media. Or attend a Spark Forum where members pitch their ideas or projects which need support from others to make them a success.

If anyone is interested in supporting or sharing our project, you can follow us on Facebook here Instagram here or visit our website.

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