Community Science Update

This summer we’ve hosted more than 50 volunteers on site to get involved in our landmark carbon sequestration trial. Through their dedication and hard work, we’ve achieved a lot and finished most of the work: we’ve installed 256 marker posts, tagged 6,400 tree stakes with individual barcodes, installed 6,400 tree stakes across our 28 acre test site at Cynghordy in Wales.

We’ve also been busy cataloguing some of the 25,600 trees which are part of this important field trial. At the time of writing (7th September 2021) we’ve completed 50% of the task – that’s 3,200 individual trees that have been tagged, identified, measured and photographed. But it still leaves another 3,200 to do, and we need your help to get it done this autumn.

Why is this work so important?

In the relatively young field of carbon science, there aren't enough data sets, leaving critical gaps in our knowledge: This project sets out to try and plug one of those gaps by testing, at scale, techniques to improve both tree survival rates and rates of carbon dioxide reduction – i.e. the CO2 in the atmosphere that has already been emitted. The recent IPCC ‘Code Red’ report highlighted the urgency of the situation and the importance of this research.

In the words of Dr Bonnie Waring of Imperial College, “Ecology as a science has always relied on volunteers with sharp eyes recording nature. Our work as scientists’ rests on the measurements and observations that ordinary people volunteer to make.”

This summer volunteers have ranged in age from 16 to 80, working in temperatures of up to 30 degrees, though fortunately average temperatures are much lower! For science students, both undergraduate and postgraduate, volunteering presents a unique opportunity to get some fieldwork experience in a major carbon sequestration study, and gain valuable skills that employers are looking for. Dr Bonnie Waring of Imperial College and Dr Iain Robertson of Swansea University were both onsite last weekend, and talked about the opportunity for students to get involved in this short video:

If you haven’t yet joined us on site, we need your help. You’ll have fun, meet interesting people, learn some new skills, as well and getting personally involved in climate science. We have at least 5 more days this autumn with dates currently as follows:

Community Science Days:

• 10am – 4pm on September 17th, 18th ,19th

• 10am – 4pm on October 16th, 17th

To learn more and register for one or more of these events, click here

To register your interest as a volunteer for future events, click here