Trees for Change – The Milford Haven Waterway Tree Carbon Calculator

home page of the carbon calculator website

Coastal Communities Adapting Together are delighted to launch the Milford Haven Waterway Tree Carbon Calculator. The tool was developed in response to both the significant local appetite for the Coastal Communities Growing Together project and as a way to build on the project’s success by providing the community with a helpful method to continue their climate adaptation journey.

In line with the new curriculum for Wales, trees offer an ongoing source of education opportunities, indoors and outdoor. During the tree planting project, local schools and community groups took full advantage of the support and resources available ensuring they got the most out of the experience with schools receiving guidance and training from partner organisations Tir Coed and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

Drawing on expertise from partner organisations on the selection of appropriate native trees and with additional guidance from The Woodland Trust, the project planted 1926 native trees along the Milford Haven Waterway with 12 schools and 10 community groups involved. The calculator was developed as an educational resource for local schools and residents, although the information does apply to anywhere in the UK.

Whilst the immediate and obvious results of reducing carbon dioxide via tree planting is typically a form of mitigation, this calculator includes both adaptation and mitigation. It does this by reinforcing the need to adapt and providing an insight into an individual’s energy use and carbon footprints. It also emphasises the messages and learning from the project – planting the right tree in the right place is crucial.

The tool will –

  • calculate the amount of carbon captured by trees already existing or trees you have/intend to plant.
  • It will also tell you what the equivalent amount of carbon corresponds to in familiar experiences like local journeys, scrolling social media, boiling the kettle.
  • It will then give examples of the species that your trees will provide habitats for.
  • Finally, the results page will direct you to some tips for reducing your carbon footprint

Participants of the project increased their understanding of how to select appropriate trees and gained a deeper understanding of the importance of considering the role of biodiversity in climate adaption for generations to come.

The calculator goes on to support social and habitual adaptations by understanding the bigger picture described above. Countering soil erosion, creating shade, habitat restoration and increasing biodiversity all help build resilience in natural systems and society. It’s all interconnected – ecosystem restoration is important for humanity moving forward, and tree planting will help us transition to a more sustainable way of life.