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Environment Scotland: The young climate activist optimism of the Scottish Government for the ‘Wee Forests’ Project post COP26

Environment Scotland: The young climate activist optimism of the Scottish Government for the ‘Wee Forests’ Project post COP26

The NatureScot program aims to engage communities and schools in cities and towns across Scotland. It is supported by 500,000 pounds of Scottish Government funding.

Wee Foresters will plant around 600 native trees to create a forest that is the same size as a tennis court.

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Wee Forests will also be planted in Edinburgh and Glasgow, East Ayrshires, Aberdeen, Dundee, West Lothian.

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Volunteer keeper groups will care for the forests over the long-term and schools will use them for outdoor learning.

The project follows the COP26 global conference on climate change, which took place last year in Glasgow.

Laura Young, a 25year-old climate activist, stated that she was optimistic about the impact of the project on the environment. She hopes it won’t become a tick box exercise.

Young school children plant trees in the Wee Forests Project (Photo: Scottish Government).

Ms Young said that “one of my big questions about Scotland before COP26 is what will be the legacy that’s left?

“I think that this is a really cool outcome. Trees are an essential part of the climate movement, both in terms of reducing carbon emissions and increasing biodiversity.

“It’s all good news coming into 2022.

“As long there is no tick box and we don’t stop there I think it’s pretty good.

Laura Young, climate activist, also known as Less waste Laura, says that she is optimistic about the Wee Forests Project in Scotland (Photo: Andrew Cawley).

NatureScot has already started planting, and is working with local authorities as well as a number Scottish environmental organizations to help implement the programme.

Earthwatch Europe will offer citizen science activities that allow people to participate in the forests. These activities include monitoring the butterflies in the forests and measuring the amount of carbon the trees capture as they grow.

The young activist stated that she hopes the project will inspire young climate enthusiasts. She also commented on other grassroots projects that are being created. The East Renfrewshire Wee Woods Project aims to plant 12,000 trees in the area by next month.

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Ms Young said that increasing outdoor experiences and education will lead to a generation of people who care more about the environment.

“The coronavirus has caused two years of young people to stay inside. Outdoor learning offers so many opportunities for children to learn about the environment and it is possible for them to get outside.

Mairi McAllan, Environment Minister, said that the new network of Wee Forests was a great example partnership working between public and private sector. It is an important legacy from COP26 when all eyes were on Glasgow and the future.

Confirmation for the deposit return scheme a recycling program where consumers pay small deposits for plastic and glass bottles was crushing, Ms Young said. She hopes more will come to this end.

Ms Young stated: What I want talk about with the Scottish Government, is that we have incredible targets, but how will we get from A to B.

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