In his recent letter Pete Haworth states that planting 30 million trees creates a forest with an area more than twice that of the Isle of Man.

He doesn’t show his calculation, but using the Woodland Trust’s recommendation of a 2 metre spacing between trees my working shows that 30 million trees would fit comfortably in an area of 120 square kilometres, or just over a fifth of the area of the Isle of Man.

So our estimates differ by a factor of ten. Even over the Conservative Party’s five year programme of planting 30 million trees every year you would only need the area of one Isle of Man.

I accept his point that land suitable for tree planting is limited, but the area of the Isle of Man represents less than a quarter of one per cent of the total land area in the UK. About 13% of the UK is already woodland so planting 30 million trees every year for 5 years would only increase this to just over 14%.

Planting trees is a very important part of plans to combat climate change and we must hope that whichever party is elected sticks to its pledge.

David Archer