Shropshire has beautiful countryside. There is a total rea of around 860,000 acres. Of this around 650,000 acres is farmland. There are around 3,500 farms across Shropshire. There are around 20,000 acres of open coutryside where animals, birds, insects, trees and flowers should flourish.

Trees are a vital part of climate change, as the right trees will absorb climate dioxide, preventing it from going into the atmosphere. Peatland is important as if we dig up the peat we release the hidden carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The National Farmers Union are supporting the move towards greenhouse gas emissions. They have produced the following chart which illustrates the impact which agriculture can have on the climate (CLICK HERE):

A diagram showing the flows of greenhouse gases in agriculture

There are three pillars to this approach:

Pillar 1: Boosting productivity and reducing emissions.Reduction of the inputs into farming, thereby reducing emissions while achieving the same level of outputs.

Pillar 2: Farmland carbon storage. Farmland based around more trees and more hedgerows can better capture carbon, thereby reducing the amount being released into the atmosphere.

Pillar 3: Boosting renewable energy. Creating more solar energy and wind power resources will reduce the consumption of carbon-based fuels.

The people of Shropshire can help support similar schemes across the countryside. Planting hedgerows will help with capturing carbon and also help bird and insect life. Supporting projects to plant trees is essential. See the Woodland Trust website to get more detail. CLICK HERE.

Shropshire has many acres of peatland. Much of it has been degraded, so it “leaks” carbon. Properly managed peatlands can be a sink for carbon and also support unique wildlife. But many gardeners use peat in the compost they use. It is a good idea to use peat free compost.

We have a great river in the River Severn passing through Shropshire. Keeping it and other rivers as clean as possible will help support improvements in the wildlife around our rivers and wetlands. Of course, improving the climate will help to reduce the floods and disruption that River Severn could cause.