June 2, 2021

Branching out into carbon offsetting

Late last year we discovered a group of like-minded organisations supporting an initiative to purchase some land locally and plant it with indigenous trees to both help with reforestation but also support local biodiversity and nature corridors.

The first plot purchase in Almondsbury, some 22 miles north of Bath, was successful in March and may lead to future additions, supported by other local partners. We have contributed to provide an acre of woodland. Our partners at Co-Forest, the organisation formed to bring this to fruition, are very excited about the success of this new project.

Those who want to can also get involved in planting days with their teams, while Co-forest can also be built into staff wellbeing programmes.

The site in Almondsbury was selected for the first Bristol forest because it offers the opportunity for expansion if more organisations want to join the project, but also because it is on land that has undergone ecological surveys to ensure planting trees will have no detrimental effects to existing plant or animal species.

It will also connect some existing small woodlands and create new nature corridors.

Co-forest say: “This initial forest here in the Bristol and Bath area is the first of what we hope will be many Co-forests around the UK, perhaps even the world.

“The idea is that in other locations, groups could come together and use our brand, website and knowledge about tree planting to run their own projects. This first Co-forest is the coming together of like-minded people and organisations around Bath and Bristol to preserve land and plant new woodland or forestry.

“We are taking our time with this inaugural forest, exploring many ideas and opportunities and working closely with partners in the hope that it will help us create a blueprint for future Co-foresting groups elsewhere.”

Over 1.5 million hectares of new woodland is needed in Britain to help reach the net-zero carbon target by 2050.

Co-forest was initially conceived by Bath-based digital technology agency, Storm Consultancy.

Storm has since partnered with environmental experts including EcoWild, the Woodland Trust and others to assist Co-forest in the creation of its woodlands in an informed and sustainable manner.

Our firm has already taken a number of measures to reduce our footprint. This is the first of hopefully many initiatives we will look to introduce over the next three years, to support our move towards zero carbon status.

While many of our staff use bikes, public transport or walk to work, taking the step of offsetting the car journeys by planting trees with Co-forest is our first step towards this goal.

For more information, please visit https://coforest.co.uk/

The new forest in Almondsbury will begin planting in autumn 2021. Trees are planted over the winter months to give them the greatest chance of survival.  We are hoping some of our people may be able to use some of their volunteering days to support this work!

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