This morning, in between working on the book, I popped down to People’s Park in Luton to discuss tree planting schemes. We talked about native trees, elm recovery, whether there was space to put in a community orchard and where it might go.
And it reminded me of the efforts to plant new forests in Iceland that I read about recently. The country is famous for its barren landscapes. It’s a favourite place to shoot car commercials or even as a stand-in for an alien planet. But the hills aren’t bare because it’s too cold for trees to grow. It’s the result of ancient deforestation.
When Iceland was first settled, people began to cut down the trees for firewood and building. Sheep grazing prevented them from growing back. The forests that had once covered 40% of the country dwindled to less than 1%.
And then, after a thousand years, Iceland began to put them back again.
- See more on the Iceland Forest Service here.