Offsetting Our Carbon Footprint: The Platt’s Wood Project

As part of GemCap’s desire to embrace all elements of ESG, we are ensuring that we do our bit to help the environment; every time someone from the company flies on business, we plant a tree in our family’s community woodland project.

My heritage is definitely Northern with my mother being born and raised in the beautiful village of Hayfield in the Derbyshire Peak District – right next to Kinderscout, for those who know the Derbyshire 3 Peaks challenge. When my mother passed away, she left two fields in the National Park to my brother and I as well my sisters. We took the decision that rather than building houses, we would create a community woodland project called the Platts Wood Project, named after my Mother’s maiden name and in memory of my grandfather who was a local legend. We embarked on an awareness campaign locally by attending the annual country show and announcing a tree planting day for later that year.

With support from the National Park and the Woodland Trust, we managed to gather 3000 saplings of native trees which would thrive in the region. On the planting day, in late September 2015, we had over 100 people turning up to help out, including the May Queen resplendent in her tiara and long flowing dress! We even had a gentleman who was registered blind, who turned up to help along with his guide dog. After a great effort by the village and all involved, all 3000 saplings were in the ground.

Since then, we have created pathways, put in 6 benches made from recycled plastic and last year sowed an acre of wildflowers. The project is ongoing, but in the five years since we originally planted those saplings, things are very different with some trees towering up to three metres already. When my brother passed away in 2017, we planted an oak tree with his ashes beneath it. Native flowers were planted around the tree and I’m pleased to say the tree is thriving.

As part of GemCap’s desire to embrace all elements of ESG we are ensuring that we do our bit to help the environment and so every time someone from the company flies on business, we plant another tree in the woodland.

As an organisation the woodland is something we are really passionate about: not only are we able to offset the carbon footprint of our business travel, but we are able to really get involved in the community and create a space outdoors for others to enjoy. We were able to plant 19 new trees in 2019, and although 2020 was a low travel experience we still managed to get a few more tress in the ground. Going forward we will continue to add to the woodland and ensure it is seen as a local community project with spaces for outdoor education, an orchard with rare local varieties and a covered area for protection as it does rain a bit!

If you are ever in the Peak District and want to visit the Platts Wood Project please feel free; we’d love to see photos from your visit. You can find out more about the project and see photos and updates on the Platt’s Wood Project Facebook page.

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