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Millions of Brits are unable to identify the country’s most common trees – with many even struggling to spot a holly bush, a survey has revealed. Researchers found a large number of adults find it difficult to name trees which are scattered the length and breadth of the nation, and also don’t know where conkers and acorns come from.
One in ten were unable to identify a holly tree, with distinctive willows and oaks also causing confusion.
More than 10% of Brits even admitted to never having heard of a horse chestnut, maple or even an oak tree.
Even a fir tree, traditionally put up in our homes for Christmas, caused confusion, with more than one in ten unable to name a picture of one.
A spokesperson for Sky Rainforest Rescue, which commissioned the research to launch its I Love Amazon Week campaign, said:
”Trees are a central part of our history and our culture in Britain.
”We are surrounded by trees, whether it’s a few dotted along the street outside our home or all around us when we take long walks in the countryside.
”But while not all of us can be experts when it comes to trees, it seems there are some people who aren’t familiar with even the most common trees.
”We all use paper, read books, drink coffee and munch on chocolate – but a large number of us unaware that these are all made from, or grown on trees.
”Trees, and things made from trees, play such a big part of our lives – from roof beams to newspapers – that it’s important we all become more aware of them and how much we rely on them every single day.”
The study of 2,000 Brits found the average adult can name just five species of tree, with more than a quarter saying they have never heard of an elder tree.
And Brits are further stumped when it comes to identifying trees and their seeds with more than one in ten having no idea that an acorn comes from an oak tree.
15% didn’t know a conker falls from a horse chestnut while less than three quarters knew a pine cone is from a conifer.
Impressively, four fifths of us know that trees are responsible for removing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere – but more than half of us don’t realise books are made from them.
One in three also had no idea bananas grew on trees, while just 29% were aware that a tree is responsible for coffee.
Researchers also found that Brits lack knowledge of the world’s rainforests with many struggling to name the countries which have tropical rainforests, as well as the items they produce.
Just a quarter know that there is tropical rainforest in Australia, while almost a fifth don’t realise Brazil – home to the largest area of rainforest in the world – is a rainforest country.
Many also had no idea that we get chocolate, coffee or sugar from rainforest regions.
A spokesperson for Sky Rainforest Rescue added:
”Tropical forests provide resources and perform functions that all of us – people and wildlife, locally and globally – depend on every day.
”From furniture and food to the very air we breathe, forests are essential to our lives.
”But they’re also in trouble and need our help. Since 1950, the world has lost 50% of its forests.
”And, in the Amazon rainforest alone, we’re losing an area the size of three football pitches every single minute.
”But the good news is that we can all make a difference. Every one of us can help by making forest-friendly choices about the food we eat and the stuff we buy.”
* From 21 to 27 October, it’s I Love Amazon Week – a celebration of the world’s largest rainforest and a call to action to the UK public to pledge to be forest-friendly. Join the celebration with Sky and WWF and start making a difference today at sky.com/rainforestrescue.