We heard about a brilliant project in Hull that’s being run by William Jackson Food Group. You might not be familiar with WJFG per se, but you may well have come across Aunt Bessie’s, Abel & Cole, MyFresh, Jackson’s Bakery and/or The Ferguson Fawsitt Arms, all of which are part of its family. The project is impressive due to its scope in terms of both size and duration, and the positive environmental impact and community engagement levels are simply fantastic. Having begun in 2013, WJFG anticipates the project will be completed in 2051 to celebrate the company’s bicentennial.

So what is it? Well, put simply, they’re planting a whopping 200,000 trees throughout the city. Taking place over 38 years, 1% (which is still a mighty 2,000) were planted across four locations in Hull in spring 2013 thanks to volunteers from Aunt Bessie’s, Jackson’s Bakery and the WJFG head office. They planted a further 3,000 with the help of colleagues as part of National Tree Week in November 2014, so it just goes to show how quickly this admirable venture is developing.

The project invites the public, businesses, schools and organisations to suggest and donate land as well as help to plant the saplings. With communities, children and all walks of life having a go, it really is proving to be a valuable, impactful and measurable endeavour that’s helping people to better understand the importance of sustainable environments.

Though taking place entirely within Hull, this news should prove inspiring no matter where you live. You might want to take on a slightly smaller project, as a fifth of a million trees over almost four decades is a big commitment, but any trees that you can plant in your lifetime will make a difference to the world, and the sooner the better. Though incredibly important, it’s not just about environmental responsibility; additional trees can mean something as simple as a more attractive neighbourhood, extra shade for summer reads, and fresh apples for homemade pies.

Children should grow up with access to nature and the local wildlife will be very grateful for the extra leaves, branches and trunks to live in, so why not look into tree planting in your area? Whether you set up an initiative, join a relevant group or simply plant one in your back garden, you’ll be doing the planet proud.

You can discover more about the William Jackson Food Group Tree Project at wjfgtreeproject.co.uk


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