Successive governments have made popular pledges to plant large numbers of new trees. But do these trees ever actually get planted and, where they do, does it ever achieve anything useful?
Woodlands have a vital role to play in our landscape. As well as being a valuable source of homegrown timber, trees store carbon, provide an essential home for wildlife, absorb air pollution, and are important spaces for pleasure and leisure.
Growing attention has also been paid to their role in cutting flood risk. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says that, in the right place, woodland can reduce water flow and siltation in rivers, and is considering its role as part of an ongoing national flood resilience review.