Charlotte Smith led a report on the importance of protecting and increasing the number of trees in the UK as a way to combat climate change on Countryfile. She spoke to Steve Marsh from the Woodland Trust, who works to protect woodlands, when she was left stunned on the BBC show by his admission of using trees to offset your carbon footprint.

Beginning her report, Charlotte said: “On an almost daily basis we’re told trees both here in the UK and across the globe are a vital part of combating what campaigners and most policymakers now agree is a climate emergency.”

Charlotte met Steve at Langley Wood, New Forest who described trees as “silent heroes”.

He said: “They do so much for us they not only give us the oxygen we breathe, they are huge carbon stores they are one of our keen friends in the fight back against climate change.”

Steve explained: “[Trees can store] 250 kilograms of carbon dioxide over 100 years.

“I think the average carbon footprint of someone in the UK is 12 tonnes [in a year].”


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Charlotte came to a shocking realisation and said: “I’d need to plant 48 trees every year just to be carbon neutral.” 

Steve confirmed she was correct before she added: “That’s terrifying, that’s so many.”

Viewers praised Charlotte’s report and took to social media to comment.

One shared: “Cool fact on @BBCCountryfile today: we need to plant 48 trees each per year on average to be carbon neutral! #Countryfile.”

Another wrote: “It’s good educating [others] about how the trees contribute to the environment #countryfile.”

Some viewers shared their opinion on what else could be done to combat the deforestation problem.

“#Countryfile Just plant more tree and more forests. Stop cutting them down building houses for £££££££,” one added.

“How about we stop covering the countryside in solar panels & start planting trees instead #countryfile,” a fourth said.

“It’s all very well us trying to do our bit but what about the vast deforestation in other countries like South Africa? #countryfile,” another questioned. 

Meanwhile, on last week’s show viewers were in uproar over a report on the rise of cashpoints raiders in the countyside.

Countryfile host Tom Heap reported on the rise of ATM raids but fans weren’t too pleased by the segment.

The presenter discussed the crime and its impact while explaining elderly members of communities had been affected the most.

He explained older members of the community are inconvenienced by the raids because they are more likely to rely on cash.

However, viewers felt the segment wasn’t suitable for the BBC show and took to Twitter to complain.


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One said: “#Countryfile @BBCCountryfile I’m a huge fan of the programme and watch every week, but I don’t believe cashpoint raids in villages should be part of the programme.

“Unless I am missing something this is almost encouraging criminals to target cashpoints and agricultural machinery.”

Another sarcastically tweeted: “Excellent, outstanding work by Countryfile… Telling the criminal fraternity how much they are likely to get when stealing ATM machines from rural locations with limited policing!! #countryfile.”

“Just tuned in – have they mentioned the #countryfile calendar yet am I watching Crimewatch with Tom Doom n gloom Heap?…,” another said.

Another questioned: “What’s occurring?? Where’s the fields, the cows, the sheep???? #countryfile.”

Countryfile continues Sunday on 6.15pm on BBC One.

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