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Pupils come together in COP26 legacy project to tackle climate and nature crises

Hundreds of children are planting trees as part of a COP26 legacy project to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park.

The Roots for the Future project is supporting pupils from 11 schools within the National Park to work with Park Rangers to create small areas of woodland in their school grounds.

Collectively, the mini woodlands will improve habitat connectivity within the National Park by building wildlife corridors, as well as soaking up carbon from the atmosphere.

This week, pupils at Drymen Primary School planted 40 trees and spoke of their hopes and dreams for the future of their community and the planet.

Isla Scott, age 10, was one of the pupils who took part. She said: “I really liked digging the holes and planting the trees. If we have more trees, there’s more nature for the animals and they will help with pollution.”

Around 220 native woodland trees will be planted as part of the project and the young people involved are taking part in sessions to understand the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. A key aim of the project is to enable young people to take practical action on these issues.

Charlotte Wallace, Climate Action Manager at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, said:

“Climate and nature are our top priorities as a National Park Authority and we know how passionately young people feel about these issues.

“We also know that they want to be taking action in the face of such huge challenges so we are committed to supporting and empowering them to do so.

“We identified the Roots for the Future project during COP26 as a way to bring schools across the Park together to plant trees, providing a nature-based solution that will help address the climate emergency and tackle biodiversity loss within the Park.

“Even here in Scotland’s first National Park, there is a huge amount of work to be done to halt and reverse the decline we are seeing in nature and to tackle issues such as sustainable travel and damaged peatlands.”

Roots for the Future is just one of a wide range of projects getting underway this year within Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park to accelerate action on climate and nature.

The Park Authority is developing initiatives to encourage the millions of people who visit the National Park every year to use more sustainable modes of transport and is pushing forward with its own commitment to reach net zero by 2030. Climate and nature gains are also being embedded into consideration of planning applications.

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