…and what better way to help the Heart of England Forest than in the wake of Storm Freya, planting 310 English oak trees (Quercus robur) in Abbotts Lench, Worcestershire?
It would be fair to say that research has proven over the last few decades that regular walking in green, leafy spaces can improve a multitude of modern-day ailments: - reducing blood pressure & stress, improving speed of recovery from illness & productivity are to name but a few such examples. Lamentably, the UK only supports 13% native tree cover – the lowest in Europe. With this in mind, it is the Heart of England Forest’s mission to regenerate and add to the 3,000 acre of new woodland that literally stretches across the heart of England, from the ancient forest of Arden to the Vale of Evesham. Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants decided that they wanted to support the Heart of England Forest in their aspirations by volunteering to plant as many trees as possible in a day.
The fulfilling exercise of giving a positive contribution to bio-diversity, as well as giving something back to nature for the benefit of future generations, is not something to shun and Wharton rose to the challenge with whole hearted exuberance. We were led by a dedicated Heart of England Forest Coordinator, Aaron, who instructed and demonstrated how to go about our work efficiently and effectively, quietly supervising and assisting where possible. As we often do, the Wharton team quickly settled into a collaborative rhythm, some sharing the more onerous task of stake pounding whilst others found a natural momentum in simply digging a hole and planting the sapling. All, it goes without saying, done in an atmosphere of camaraderie. During both the morning and the afternoon, we were completely immersed in the task at hand albeit stopping to admire the odd inquisitive buzzard, a group of roe-deer dashing across adjacent fields, a mad march hare darting into the hedgerow or the double rainbow that magically appeared out of seemingly no-where as a rain shower mercifully missed us!
Storming through our work, we ended up planting 310 english oak saplings – no mean feat - and felt a sense of accomplishment in having contributed towards making a difference to our natural environment. As compensation for the fruits of our labour we were treated to a deliciously wholesome and hearty lunch (prepared by Cathy, Heart of England Forest Caterer), followed by cake and refreshments at the end of the day. All very much appreciated after a hard day’s grafting!
Serendipity or careful planning, the whole day’s exercise left the Wharton team feeling exhilarated yet exhausted after a day of hard-grafting– away from the confines of the office and the timbre of technology…
…What a day to behold!
If you want a way in which you can connect with and give back to the natural environment, Wharton thoroughly recommend contacting the Heart of England Forest, who will be happy to help you find the perfect opportunity to make a worth-while difference.