Carnforth's Leighton Hall branches out to help Blackpool firm sow seeds of positive climate change

Leighton Hall is rooting for a Blackpool business intent on helping save the planet, forming a sustainability partnership for the next three years that will see estate woodland re-established with the planting of up to 30,000 trees.

Leighton Hall.
Leighton Hall.

With an ambitious target to become carbon neutral by the end of 2021, leading UK consumer lender Oplo has pledged to plant a new tree for every new customer choosing to take out a loan.

These will be split between two projects, Scottish Highlands based charity Trees for Life, and local partners Leighton Hall, set within the Arnside and Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Lucy Arthurs, estate manager at Leighton Hall Estate, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Oplo, whose environmental ethos and bold practical ambitions match our own. Their support accelerates our ability to re-establish woodlands that contribute to the national drive for long term stabilization and reduction in carbon.

"This engagement directly supports the estate and our AONB woodland connectivity programme for nationally endangered butterflies and pollinators.”

Creating safe homes for wildlife as well as forests fit for the future, Leighton Hall is helping Oplo employees make their own direct impact. An ongoing schedule of volunteering projects will encourage local employees to not only help to plant the trees, but also bulbs and woodland fauna such as primroses.

Founded 12 years ago, Oplo is a key employer based at Blackpool airport’s enterprise one.

Chief people officer Steve McNicholas said: “Creating a positive social impact is a big part of why Oplo exists. We have a track record of doing business the right way while delivering a positive impact for our customers, our people, and our community and we want to extend this impact to the planet.

“We are delighted to offer our customers and our employees a practical, hassle-free option to make a meaningful and genuine difference to protecting our planet.”

With planting due to start this year, visitors to Leighton Hall will be able to visit and track the new saplings’ progress and impact among the 800-year-old parkland, and encouraged to take part in further initiatives.