Lancaster University project branches out after tree donation boost

Lancaster University received a welcome ‘green’ gift which it has shared with the local community in a bid to restore natural and native ecosystems to the university landscape.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Wednesday, 17th June 2020, 12:30 pm
The 'Forest of the Future Project', launched in 2018 by Green Lancaster, is a joint initiative involving Lancaster University and Lancaster University Students Union.
The 'Forest of the Future Project', launched in 2018 by Green Lancaster, is a joint initiative involving Lancaster University and Lancaster University Students Union.

A tree nursery that Lancaster University works with donated 7,500 spare trees to the university’s ‘Forest of the Future’ project.

The trees include a mixture of native deciduous species such as Oak, Birch, Hawthorn, Rowan and Elder.

The university liaised with a range of its local contacts to maximise the local distribution of the trees for the benefit of the district.

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Some 2,500 trees are destined for the university’s own Green Lancaster ‘Forest of the Future’ project and have been put into a nursery bed ahead of planting out next winter.

The rest of the trees have been distributed to Lancaster City Council (for the 1 million trees project in response to their Climate Emergency Declaration), the Fairfield Association local nature reserve and Claver Hill community farm at Ridge Lane in Lancaster.

To minimise the environmental impact of transporting the trees, the Green Lancaster electric van was sent on a 130-mile round trip to collect the trees directly from the nursery.

Lancaster University Carbon, Environment and Sustainability Manager Jonathan Mills said: "We are delighted that these trees have been donated by the nursery and that, in addition to those Green Lancaster have received, we have been able to deliver so many to Lancaster City Council and local community groups. The more trees we plant, the more we can offset carbon emissions across the district.”

The university’s Development Manager (Environmental Sustainability) Darren Axe said: “It’s great to have received so many trees to boost the ‘Forest of the Future’ project over the coming year. As a result of this tree donation, we won’t need to purchase any trees through the winter planting season of 2020-21 as this quantity should see us through to March 2021.”

The 'Forest of the Future Project', launched in 2018 by Green Lancaster, a joint initiative involving Lancaster University and Lancaster University Students’ Union, provides the university with the opportunity to restore natural ecosystems services to University landscapes, provide flood mitigation in the River Conder catchment and is a vital natural climate solution in response to the climate emergency agenda.