Tom Murphy tree planting
Dr Thomas Murphy, Green Walls Industrial Research Fellow, Low Carbon Devon, collaborated with creative agency Just Enough Brave to increase the accessibility of research for improved native woodland expansion.
Woodland expansion is a ‘nature-based solution’ which is now recognised as potentially one of the most effective climate change mitigation options to date, with the capacity to absorb and store large volumes of carbon, reduce river flooding and support biodiversity. However, it remains unclear whether natural tree establishment can supply demand for expanded oak woodland in the UK uplands, where they are needed to reduce downstream flood risk. 
“Reaching UK carbon net zero by 2050 requires the creation of 30,000 hectares of new woodland a year.”
The research examined the potential for the natural establishment of native oak trees into upland pasture slopes, and provided targeted management recommendations to land managers and policymakers for the expansion of these woodlands. 
The creative collaboration is about getting the research where it is needed through the use of high-impact communication tools. The project communicates research and management guidance for the establishment of upland oak woodland in a digestible way to land managers and policymakers, while also linking individuals and stakeholders who want to take action with organisations supporting native woodland creation.
“Nature-based solutions are increasingly gaining prominence as one of the most effective ways to reduce Climate Change and its impacts, whether it’s use of living walls to lower energy demand in buildings or the application of native woodland to help reduce flood risk. This nature-based approach, if done well, both in rural and urban locations could not only help reduce emissions and mitigate the negative consequences of the climate emergency but do so in a way which provides multiple social, economic and environmental benefits to local communities now and for future generations.”
Dr Thomas Murphy