John Glyn Society Lecture: The Importance of Trees

In the latest John Glyn Scholars’ Society lecture series, Colfe’s was delighted to welcome Yara Ghrewati, founder and creative director of outdoor environmental practitioners Wildeye Adventures. Ms Ghrewati gave a fascinating talk to pupils from Years 9-13 on the Importance of Trees, exploring the richness of native English trees and all the myriad benefits that woodlands have for our physical, mental and environmental health and wellbeing.

Year 9’s Esme wrote about the lecture:

“On Monday 11 December, the older members of the John Glyn Society enjoyed a lecture about the importance of trees from Yara Ghrewati. She began by talking to us about the native trees of England, pointing out that whilst we all recognise many corporate logos few of us recognise native trees. She then mentioned some special trees, such as the oldest tree, the bristlecone pine in California, the colourful bark of the rainbow eucalyptus and the two-million-year history of the Baobab tree, dating back to the existence of the dinosaurs.

I found it interesting how later on, she gave us the figures for the amounts of woodland in the UK: 13% total of our total landmass, of which 4% is broadleaf woodland (deciduous trees) and 2% ancient woodland. Much of the rest is single species pine plantations, grown for felling and use. There is a lack of biodiversity due to the pines starving light from the forest floor because they are evergreen. Yara explained the many medicinal benefits of trees. It was also interesting to know how many benefits there are to spending time amongst trees – so much so that shinrin yoku, or forest bathing, has become a medicinal treatment in Japan. She urged us all to get outside and look at trees and spend time in woodlands.”

Yara will be returning to speak to younger members of the John Glyn Society in March 2024.

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