Can't See the Wood for the Trees

MandyI think we’re so lucky to work here because we get to do and invest in projects that are connected with the land and nature – it’s a great reminder of why we do the job we do.  Working at Hilley Farm, we’ve been involved with the planning and planting of a 3 hectare woodland.  The staff spent a few days outside in the sunshine getting their hands dirty, planting trees and putting protective covers around them.  The covers protect the young plants from rabbits and deer.  Dave, our tree man did a fantastic job through wind, rain and sun to plant the vast majority of the trees with help from Barry, responsible for putting in canes.  You’d think this was a simple job but the blisters in the centre of Barry’s hand forced him to convert a dessert spoon into a hand palm protector.

Of course I’m personally not likely to get the real benefit of wandering through a beautiful, rich, mature forest, but the next generation will and that is a nice thought.  There are lots of reasons why we wanted the wood over and above the aesthetics.  The land we’re using is fairly low grade pasture which spends many months covered in pools of water in a good year, and an ocean of water in a bad year.  The idea is that the trees will stabilise the land (preventing our soil from heading towards Worcester) and possibly soak up water making it less boggy.  The commercial benefits may be realised if the timber market continues to grow.  Wood as a resource is coming back into fashion and the Government recently launched a “Grown in Britain” campaign.  Amongst other things the campaign is to rejuvenate the timber supply chain and encourage the growth and management of woodland.  We are using increasing amounts of timber in construction and the (biomass) energy sector, two thirds of which is currently imported – this needs to be re-addressed.

We’ve got plans to increase the biodiversity by planting bluebells and other woodland flowers and putting in habitats to encourage butterflies,  birds and other fauna.  By way of a thank you, we want to share this with our clients so we’re going to give them each a tree to adopt which will at least sequester enough carbon for them to offset a hot drink a day.  The 4,500 other trees are ready for adoption for just £10 a tree.  Interested? http://www.e4environment.co.uk/sponsor-a-tree/.  I think it would be a great thing to do for those companies that want to positively contribute to the environment and have a story to tell their customers.

Blog post by Mandy Stoker

E4environment is an environmental consultancy providing professional, practical advice and expertise to both the private and public sector on a wide range of environmental issues.