Earth Day 2022: Trees, Science and People Connected

This time last year we were in lockdown, it was the second Earth Day spent in lockdown and there were great hopes for 2021 to be a pivotal year for a decade of action to tackle the climate crisis. A crisis that requires nations, governments, charities, businesses, universities, local communities and individuals to work together for humanity.

Looking back to Earth Day 2021 at The Carbon Community, we also had great hopes and were filled with anticipation for the launch of our landmark Carbon Study and for the gradual lifting of Covid restrictions that would allow us to welcome volunteers to our site in Carmarthenshire.

Over the last year our aim has been to bring together trees, science and people.

There are 25,600 trees involved in our carbon study. Tremendous care and energy has gone into each and every step. Measuring and marking out 72 test cells over 11 hectares, preparing the ground, spreading the basalt, gathering the soil inoculant, planting and cataloguing the trees, taking samples, getting the lysimeters to work and analysing our first set of data. Throughout this whole journey is it people who have brought the magic to the mix.

Bangor University Forestry Masters students running a field trial

People have also brought their time, energy, wisdom and advice. One of those pieces of advice was to think beyond our first study, to become a facility for current and future scientists. And so we welcomed our first Masters student from Bangor University and this year we will welcome Masters students from both Bangor and Swansea Universities.

Looking back we are amazed by the time and energy brought by everyone from the professional tree planters to our volunteers. For all of you who joined us when there was just a picnic table an umbrella and some flapjacks, we have been hard at work to complete our new-to-us second hand barn which will provide shelter, shade, tea, coffee and of course flapjacks.

And so Earth Day 2022 is here. This year the theme is Invest in Our Planet. At The Carbon Community we will continue to invest in the magic that is bringing together trees, science and people. There are new signs along the public footpath where people can discover more about our work and a bench where they can rest their feet. Over the Easter weekend we welcomed our first local students working on their Duke of Edinburgh volunteering awards and this October scientists and citizen scientists will come together to take the next measurements for our carbon study.

The journey so far has been incredibly rewarding. We are grateful to everyone in our community for your interest, your energy, your questions, your time and you support of our work.

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