While Britain swelters under soaring temperatures, one of the best places to be is beside a tree, nature's very own air conditioning system. 

The trees of Wildwood offer visitors welcome relief from the sun and offer an amazing air conditioning effect thanks to water evaporating from their leaves, up to 14°C on the hottest days.
Ancient man was no fool and often built their homes next to trees, some archaeological evidence suggests that man used different types of trees to keep him cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Scientists are now rediscovering this lost knowledge in their quest to make us more energy efficient.
So the advice for keeping cool this summer is to plant some trees or take a visit to Wildwood Trust and spend the afternoon beneath our cooling canopy of trees, looking at the animals that would have surrounded our wise ancestors as they kept cool.
Peter Smith, Wildwood's Chief Executive stated:
"Remember to plant some trees in front of your house or office this autumn and especially in front of any air conditioning units.
I am amazed at how many air conditioning units are left in direct sunlight, just by planting a tree you could drastically reduce the electricity it uses and help cut down on global warming."
The Wildwood 'Woodland Discovery Park' is an ideal day out for all the family where you can come 'nose to nose' with British Wildlife. Wildwood offers its members and visitors a truly inspirational way to learn about the natural history of Britain by actually seeing the wildlife that once lived here. 
Wildwood is situated close to Canterbury, just off the A291 between Herne Bay and Canterbury. www.wildwoodtrust.org  01227 712111
Why trees are good at keeping us cool:
  • Trees help keep the air and soil near gardens moist by releasing water through their stomata in a process called transpiration. Every Tree 'transpires' as much water as a tap on full. It is this process that cools down the air. Research by the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory suggests that trees lower the air temperature by 3°F to 6°F (2°C to 4°C) in the vicinity just by the transpirational effect.
  • Effectively shading a house with tall trees can reduce indoor temperatures by as much as 10 degrees when temperatures soar.
  • Trees planted to shade an air conditioning unit require less energy to cool a building. Keeping a building cooler and saving you money.
  • Deciduous trees planted on the south side of buildings stop sunlight in the summer but when their leaves drop off allow sunlight to warm the house in the winter. This cooling effect has been shown to decrease energy use in a home by 17% and 30% in two case studies in America. 
  • Evergreen trees planted on the north side of buildings to protect buildings from prevailing winds during the winter can decrease wind speed by half, therefore, decreasing winter energy consumption.