GREEN-fingered office workers swapped spreadsheets for shovels when they spruced up much-loved woodland in Leamington.
Tachbrook Park-based colleagues from tyre manufacturer Bridgestone volunteered to tidy up land at the nearby Paintings Plantation.
The tranquil woodland – based at the site of Campion Academy – provides an outdoor learning area for pupils and also represents an area of calm and relaxation for anyone affected by dementia.
Its name commemorates the late Norman Painting and his invaluable contribution to Age UK Warwickshire, as patron and supporter. Many will also remember him as ‘Phil Archer’ of The Archers, in the long running BBC Radio 4 programme.
The area is maintained by volunteers from Age UK Coventry and Warwickshire.
Bridgestone volunteers donned gardening gloves to cut back hedges, paint an outside classroom area and decking, along with other tasks.
Former chief executive of Age UK Warwickshire Elizabeth Phillips said: “Paintings Plantation is a safe haven and an area of tranquillity for students and local dementia groups. It means a lot to a lot of people.
“Bridgestone helped us out before and carried out a lot of work before the pandemic hit. There is only a small group of us that looks after the land, so when you get 13 volunteers from a local company like Bridgestone, it makes such a difference.
“They have got so much done which would have taken us months to do on our own. Their support has been absolutely fantastic. It has been really valuable.”
The next big project at the plantation is the planting of 30 blossom trees courtesy of a grant from Warwickshire County Council. The first delivery will be towards the end of November, when more Bridgestone volunteers will return to dig holes and plant their own commemorative blossom tree.
Bridgestone’s North Region Managing Director Andrea Manenti said the work was the least he and his colleagues could do.
He said: “Sustainability and solutions to enhance the environment are at the heart of our philosophy as a global business. So too is the support of each local community we work in. Leamington and Warwickshire are areas close to our heart and we have been long standing supporters of Paintings Plantation, as it is such a valuable community amenity.
“It is a vital resource from and we were thrilled to be able to come down, show our support and provide some new gardening equipment for the cause. We’re glad to have helped and we look forward to visiting again soon.”