Why Trees Are Important to Nature Reserves
Written by: Stewart Borland
Published: 14th November 2017
It’s a commonly known fact that plants are vital for sustaining our earth’s ecosystem; they provide oxygen, filter carbon, purify soil and are a support network for wildlife. Trees, as the largest in the plant family, are that much more essential because of their size and long lifespan.
It’s important for communities to respect and understand these incredible plants and part of this education is to understand why trees have such a profound and important role in supporting the Highland Titles Nature Reserve.
Here are four key reasons why trees are so important to the Highland Titles Nature Reserve.
Trees and wildlife
Did you know that older oak trees can be a habitat for over 500 different species?
It might seem quite obvious, and that’s because it is; trees are incredibly important to the wildlife we have co-inhabiting on the Nature Reserve. Trees are complex micro-habitats, that change as the tree matures. As younger trees they provide the perfect environment for smaller birds and insects and as they grow older and hollow out they are favorably made into homes by bats, owls, beetles and many more woodland creatures.
For more information about native trees of Scotland, check out our Tremendous Trees series on the Highland Titles community!
Trees and communities
Trees are vital for communities, both in urban and rural areas. In cities and suburban areas trees are often found in parks, along roadsides and surrounding playgrounds. They help to create a peaceful and protective environment. They also help to attract other wildlife to urban areas, again helping to sustain the urban environment in which the trees are planted. In cities, trees also help to provide shade and block out light, helping to cool streets and walkways. In addition to this, did you know that properties near mature trees are, on average 10% higher in value.
In Nature Reserves and rural areas trees help the community by being pivotal educational and talking points. They bring communities together to learn about their heritage, tree types, bird-walking and are also fantastic playgrounds for younger children looking for an adventure.
Trees and spirituality
Trees are diverse and majestic. Throughout history they have been worshiped and respected as part of many spiritual practices. When you think about a tree, the qualities that usually come to mind are: calmness, strength, peace and history. Communities often form emotional ties with trees, their long lifespan means that they can track the history of a family or particular place. The trees Highland Titles’ patrons have planted on the Nature Reserve will live for hundreds of years, tracking the progress of the Nature Reserve as they grow.
It really is a beautiful thought, these trees looking over the Nature Reserve for years to come!
Trees and the environment
The impact that trees have on the environment is invaluable. With the combined effect of global warming, if we didn’t sustain our pool of trees on the earth we would be in trouble. Here are a few ways in which trees are important to the environment:
- By preserving soil
- By producing oxygen and taking in carbon dioxide
- By filtering the air by removing dust and absorbing pollutants
- By moderating the effect of the sun, rain and water
Highland Titles will continue to plant trees on our Nature Reserves to help support the wonderful job they do. All the trees we plant on our Nature Reserve are native species, that would naturally grow in the area. Find out more about our tree planting projects or perhaps consider planting your own tree.