Great Britain

Guardian and Observer appeal for trees raises £250,000 in fortnight

The 2019 Guardian and Observer climate emergency charity appeal, aimed at planting trees and protecting forests and woodlands, has raised more than £250,000 in less than a fortnight.

The appeal is supporting four charities which promote environmental and social justice through natural climate solutions, ranging from safeguarding the Amazon rainforest to rewilding parts of the Scottish Highlands, to planting trees in Britain’s towns, cities and countryside

The four charities are: Woodland Trust, Trees for Life, Trees for Cities and Global Greengrants Fund UK.

Responding to the news, Steve Micklewright, the chief executive of Trees for Life, said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of Guardian and Observer readers. “Through their support, Trees for Life will be able to do more in the fight against climate chaos through natural solutions and enable wildlife to flourish and communities to thrive.”

The chief executive of Trees for Cities, David Elliott, said: “The amazing support for this appeal will not only result in thousands of trees being planted across the UK and internationally, but also demonstrates that the climate and our natural environment are loud and clear priorities in the public’s mindset.”

Guardian and Observer journalists will be taking phone donations in person at the annual charity telethon between 10am and 6pm this Saturday. Those taking readers’ calls include: Katharine Viner, Polly Toynbee, Owen Jones, Gary Younge, Marina Hyde, George Monbiot, John Crace, Anushka Asthana, Jonathan Freedland and Sali Hughes.

Introducing the appeal earlier this month, the Guardian editor-in-chief, Viner, said that while it was crucial to remain focused on the giant steps that governments and corporations must take to combat the climate crisis, our partner charities highlighted practical actions that citizens could take to renew nature and the planet.

She wrote: “Planting and protecting trees is a positive way that we can help. Trees are vital in producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They provide a natural habitat for animals, birds and insects and stem the decline of biodiversity.

“They can prevent flooding and soil erosion. They provide shelter and shade, and reduce air and noise pollution. Forests and woodlands are natural sources of beauty, wellbeing and peace.”