Our planet matters. Today I asked Dr Thérèse Coffey, Environment Minister if she would meet with me to support a project to plant 20,000 trees with school children across West Cornwall by the end of 2020 to help address air quality.
Although I felt her response was slightly disappointing, technically the minister is right and wrong about air quality; specifically, in Cornwall, most schools are not set in the urban metropolis and so the benefits of particulate absorption by trees would be pretty good, it is scientifically accurate to say that trees remove particulates (and therefore help air pollution because they do!).
One reason people don’t think trees help air quality is because they reduce air flow in urban areas meaning that pollution is less likely to be dispersed by the wind, clearly this effect is less likely to be an issue in smaller Cornish urbanised areas.
Since asking the question this morning, I have met with Forestry Minister, David Rutley, who has agrees with me that this project is worthwhile, will reduce air pollution and will work with me to help turn it into a reality.
It is vital that we improve air quality and reduce our carbon emissions, this project aims to inspire children to get actively involved in safeguarding their planet.