THE HEART of England Forest has seen its 2 millionth tree planted.
Pupils from Mappleborough Green Primary School did the honours at the charity’s new site at Gorcott Hill near Redditch.
The tree marks a major milestone in the Heart of England Forest’s mission to create and conserve a 30,000-acre forest for the benefit of the environment, people and wildlife.
Established in 1996, the Forest has grown to cover over 7,000 acres of land stretching up the Warwickshire/Worcestershire border, from the present-day borders of Shakespeare’s Forest of Arden, across the ancient Forest of Feckenham, and down to the edge of the Vale of Evesham – the north Cotswolds to south Birmingham.
The ambitious project was the vision of the late multi-millonaire publisher Felix Dennis who lived at Dorsington near Stratford.
In the 26 years since the first tree was planted, the natural world has changed beyond measure and the challenges of the climate crisis, pollution and biodiversity loss have become increasingly urgent, which is why the charity’s work to protect and enhance the natural world is more important now than ever.
Beth Brook, chief executive of the Heart of England Forest, said: “The 2 millionth tree planting event was a special moment in the history of the charity, not just because it represents the huge progress we have made towards our goals, but because we were able to share it with some of the young people who remind us why the work we are doing is so vital.
“Our pledge is that by the time these schoolchildren and the trees we plant today reach maturity, we will have created a forest that is at the heart of a greener, cleaner and more diverse natural world in this community.
“While tree planting on its own will not be able to get us there, we believe that every tree we plant today or acre of land we add tomorrow can make a genuine difference to the future of society and our planet.”
Visit www.heartofenglandforest.com for further details.