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Vodafone UK partners with Defra and Forest Research to safeguard UK forests and tackle climate change through tech

In July 2020, Vodafone UK partnered with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Forest Research, Great Britain’s leading organisation for forestry research, to explore the potential of Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) technology to monitor trees’ role in combatting tackling climate change.

The pilot scheme, the first of its kind in the UK, is monitoring tree growth and the impacts of environmental change on the UK’s forests. Trees in Forestry England’s Alice Holt forest, near Farnham in Surrey, and Harwood forest, near Rothbury in Northumberland, are connected by specialist IoT sensors which collect vast amounts of data. This data is then transmitted to Defra and Forest Research, where advanced analytics can assess the impact of temperature, humidity and soil moisture on tree growth and function.

Tree growth in particular is an important measure. Scientists can use this data to estimate the contribution of trees to climate change mitigation as a result of their ability to absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. Defra and Forest Research will use the results to inform policy makers and the public of how the changing environment impacts tree growth and the huge benefits that trees can provide by storing carbon.

Find out more about the Vodafone UK, Defra and Forest Research forest trial.

  • Digital for Green
  • Digital Society
  • Environment
  • Inclusion
  • IoT
  • Planet
  • Technology