How nature can benefit your mental health
By Debbie Frances,
How did my Churchill Fellowship help to inspire a business that aims to map every tree on earth? Having discovered a tree in a bog in Chile while travelling as a Churchill Fellow, it soon became clear that the GPS locating devices were vitally important to pinpointing trees anywhere on earth. GPS provides map coordinates so that the tree can be found again in future for conservation, propagation and many other reasons.
The majority of people on the planet now have a smartphone with GPS technology. However, while millions of fans can locate a fictional Pokémon almost anywhere on earth, it hasn’t been possible to pinpoint a tree using your phone. Until now, with Tremap.
Tremap is the first project of its kind and will play a vital role in the fight for effective tree conservation on a global scale. If we know where a tree is we can work to conserve it, propagate it and much more. Open to all, it appeals to a broad audience, from the humble nature lover to those key players and businesses working to create a greener future for everyone. Locating trees now becomes easier than finding Pokémon's; a lot of fun and far more worthwhile. It will also save more trees, reduce plastic pollution and support biodiversity. Tree records are essential to protect trees and the database at Tremap will help anyone who has an interest in trees. Plant labelling is both expensive in cash terms as well as environmentally, creating tons of plastic every year. Tremap has a planting function for sponsors to support any tree species, supporting maximum biodiversity.
When Sir Winston Churchill requested that tea be grown in the UK to help the war effort, it was soon realised that the crops would take too long to establish and were completely unproven in the UK. Seventy years later I did succeed in creating tea gardens in the UK at Tregothnan in Cornwall, now Europe’s largest tea gardens. Tremap will enable us to map every single one of the 20,000 tea bushes that we plant every year.
Whatever your views on the climate crisis and ongoing battle against deforestation, everyone agrees that protecting trees, one of our planet’s most important resources, has never been so urgent.
That’s why we need to take every opportunity we can to protect and nurture our trees for a leafy-green future – starting today.
So, how does Tremap fit into all this? The founders and team in North America and Europe are planning to digitally label every tree on a global scale, by putting the power in the hands of the people. This is so we can create more transparent tree conservation and build data that doesn’t (literally) cost the Earth.
We’re developing an app that will create a giant database that any user can contribute to, with the goal to build the most accurate tree record system in history. The Tremap app will essentially be a virtual tree label, with users being able to document everything from the indigenous trees in their front yard to the tropical palms of their local botanical garden. It will also be a vital tool for those who regularly need access to tree data: for example, local councils who are providing tree management services to conservation groups.
So, in the rush to COP26, Tremap is in full testing mode, ready to accept investors and grow the platform to be the world’s tree mapping system. With its HQ in the UK, Tremap has started mapping from the remote highlands of Scotland to the lush gardens of Cornwall. Meanwhile, orchards in Canada, Poland and Australia are already live on Tremap and millions of tonnes of apples will now be saved from being lost and rotting. Processors will instantly locate trees that need harvesting and plan an efficient collection route.
Tremap is working to become the most useful tree tool in history and the largest ever citizen science tree project. To find out more about how your contribution could help, email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views and opinions expressed by any Fellow are those of the Fellow and not of the Churchill Fellowship or its partners, which have no responsibility or liability for any part of them.
By Debbie Frances,
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