At our first safari park, in Mamhead Park, we have approaching 10,000 trees. Some ancient, some brand new, some gnarly and twisted, some straight like arrows. They provide habitats for wildlife above the ground with powerful, neural networks below. These trees are our eco warriors.
The trees are the most physical, 3D centre of this tangible ecosystem that we are building. Surrounding the trees and our parks, Letts Safari is developing an online network for all people to do something about climate change - one tree, one animal, one new wild space at a time. It's kind of like a Facebook + Bloomberg for climate that, in turn, enables the physical ‘safari parks’ to expand, driving climate health and biodiversity gain.
Ultimately our dream is to create a metaverse for climate, perfectly combining physical spaces (that reverse climate change) with a vast digital community of people - learning, combining and making this change happen. Letts Safari members not only visit and enable these wild spaces virtually but also learn how to make a lot more of them. Driving a climate changing digital to physical network effect.
Your subscriptions enable these wooden giants, nurtured over time, to clean the air, purify our water and remove carbon. For every 10 subscribers we plant a tree a year. LettsSafari.com’s limited beta is already 250% over subscribed so we’ve been busy planting trees - including creating a new willow copse at the bottom of a wetland. A wetland that could, one day, support the reintroduction of the black stork.
Mamhead Park’s trees, combined, remove up to 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. We also remove carbon with wild grasses, specialist scrub, bog and ponds.
These trees are a core part of the mosaic of eco park that we design to optimise carbon removal, drive wildlife diversity and to naturally regenerate. Our brand new, baby park-bred trees are carefully re-planted to expand our carbon quashing warrior base - here and beyond.
“Trees—all plants, in fact—use the energy of sunlight, and through the process of photosynthesis take carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air and water from the ground. In the process of converting it into wood they release oxygen into the air.”
When a tree breathes, it inhales carbon and exhales oxygen — the exact opposite of humans. Trees remove carbon from the atmosphere and release oxygen in its place helping limit global warming, providing for a cleaner, healthier climate. We plant trees that remove a tonne of carbon over their life.
There is so much that we have learned about trees from vital environmental research conducted globally over the last few decades. We could write a book about it.
We have discovered that large, older trees are best at long term carbon storage while smaller, younger trees generally effect short term carbon storage. But, we have most recently learned that the older trees teach the younger trees how to do it. Tests have shown that if you remove these older trees, the young trees become half as effective at removing carbon!
We have also learned that trees live in families, like us. They communicate to each other, feed each other and provide medicine through their root systems. They can even ward off desease and predators by releasing toxins. If a tree is sick or weak, the other trees pump nutrients and medicine to it. Their intricate, intertwining root systems are one of nature's most powerful neural networks. Like networks today power the Internet, nature's neural networks can support climate reversal. We just have to extend and optimise them.
Trees, like us, are happiest surrounded by a close, healthy family nucleus. As a result, Letts Safari’s planting schemes create copses of the same tree family. A copse of Magnolia trees, or Willow trees, or Oak - you get it. This mosaic patchwork of copses means that each tree is happier and healthier - breeding better to efficiently support our ‘re-planting’ system. We also adopt the Miyawaki system to create a few, high density mixed copses for higher impact carbon removal and thick cover for mammal repopulation.
Trees don't have to be big to make the difference. For example, Bamboo, per square inch, is one of the most efficient at carbon removal.
There is much yet to be learned about trees - living and dead. Standing up and lying down. Gnarly and twisted, straight and tall. Small, big, fat or skinny. Each do something for nature.
Indeed, old, gnarly, twisted trees provide a variety of eco habitats including water pools, bacteria basins and thriving spaces for plants and animals.
Tip: when a tree is lying down it’s not dead, it’s just older and can continue to remove carbon through its root system for decades - even centuries. Just leave the rootball and the base of the trunk in place.
We’ve learned that wood left lying on the ground breeds bugs and becteria in its underbelly. They, in turn, naturally improve the soil - kicking off a virtual cycle of carbon storage and biodiversity enhancement. The wood needs to be at least eight inches in diameter to do its magic.
Letts Group have developed wildlife biodomes from recycled wood. These quick-build eco structures breed bugs under their base while housing dozens of different species of wildlife inside. We will install these biodomes in our Letts Safari Network of parks with partner lamdholders. We have 25 at Mamhead Park South. We'll show you how to build the mini version in your garden.
Trees also provide amazing habitats for all kinds of wildlife. Different kinds of trees supporting different types of creatures. Did you know that the 400 year old oak tree houses 2,000 different species of wildlife? Recently we spotted a Pine Martin at our first safari park. One of the earliest sightings in southwest England.
At Mamhead Park South we have up to 5,000 older trees - some over a thousand years old, some brought in from far off lands by trading ships operated by previous owners of this place. We even have a hybrid Cork-Oak that was invented on this land. 5,000 young trees have been added. Some sprouting teenagers, some still in nappies. Most are bred here and support our ‘re-planting’ system.
The world's oldest tree: In 2008, peculiar circumstances led to the discovery of the world's oldest individual tree: Old Tjikko, a 9,550-year-old Norway spruce located in Fulufjället Mountains in Sweden, according to scientists at Umeå University. Old Tjikko is suspected to be the only living trunk of an ancient clonal colony. The tree's true age was revealed by carbon-dating its root system.
At Letts Safari we use rewilding as a core ecological infrastructure technology (try saying that after a few drinks). We pioneered mass market, smaller-scale rewilding so anyone can do it - not matter how small a green space. We even have a system for terrace gardens.
Trees are one of rewildings main macro-habitats alongside wild grasses, open scrub and waterways. From this we weave a powerful mosaic of micro-habitats which add up to a thriving ecosystem that drives nature's accelerated regeneration - all while making us humans healthier and happier.
Trees are life. The more we learn how to optimise their existence on this planet the longer we might be allowed to exist alongside them.
By subscribing to Letts Safari you help us plant more trees. For every 10 subscribers we plant a tree a year.