On the 24th of November, Brentwood Environmental Business Alliance (BEBA) organised a tree planting day at Warley Country Park for members and the local community to get involved with. Vera O’Driscoll, Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Apprentice went along to represent Axis for the day.
Axis has been part of BEBA since it started, an Environmental Business Alliance who aim to reduce emissions and have a positive impact on the environment. We are very proud to be part of the board and were delighted to attend the first in-person event they have hosted.
The day was led by Alan Marsh, Brentwood Borough Council’s arboriculturist who provided detailed talks throughout the day including the benefits of afforestation for not only the environment, but social, physical, and mental health and well-being as well. He also talked through the different species that were to be planted on the day and demonstrated how and where to plant them.
A fantastic total of 1,495 trees were kindly donated by a gentleman called Duncan, who has been working with Brentwood Council for over 10 years. – I have always found trees fascinating and have been involved with growing and planting trees for many years now. I really enjoy days like these as I can spread my own knowledge to others while helping encourage environmental awareness and the importance of afforestation.
After the first planting sessions there was a delicious open fire cooked lunch which included a vegetable chilli and jacket potato for all the volunteers to enjoy. It was made by an organisation called Get Outside who work with schools to encourage children to go outside more and explore nature. We started in lockdown as an official charity, but we have been working with children outdoors for a while now. It is so important in today’s world filled with technology that we reconnect with nature. We hope that by providing a space where children can come and get involved in different activities in the fresh air, it will allow them to have fun while assisting with their development as well as bringing positivity into their lives. – Dan, one of the founders of Get Outside
The day did not only involve tree planting but also an array of different demonstrations displaying the different processes that happen within the forestry industry. The first one was a wood chipper where all of the small branches were going to be broken down into smaller pieces. This would then be taken off to a plant where it would be turned into energy. The next demonstration was a plank cutter which showed the process of how a plank was created for building materials.
The final demonstration was across the road on the section of woodland that they were cutting down due to the Ash disease. There was a machine that did the whole process including cutting the tree down, stripping off the leaves and loose branches to only have the trunk left, measure the preferred length of the log and finally cut the log and put it in a pile. Alan explained a bit of history about this area – I actually helped plant the ash trees that are currently being taken down 25 years ago. This was because 25 years ago they didn’t have the knowledge they do today and didn’t realise that the Ash trees would face a disease which would kill the majority of them. This is why we are re-planting these areas with a variety of species to create a healthy woodland once again. It is sad to see these trees come down, but with the help of these amazing volunteers we can replant the whole area. I want to thank everyone who came along today as we managed to plant around 600 trees in total which is wonderful!.
I had such a brilliant day with BEBA tree planting. I have wanted to get involved with tree planting for a while now and although it was hard work digging the holes I got the hang of it after a while. I really enjoyed listening to Alan and Duncan who have been within the forest industry for many years and learning about their knowledge on woodlands and trees, they were very interesting people. I planted around 25 trees on the day and am looking forward to going back in 5/10 years to see how much they have grown knowing that I was the one to plant them! It was a great feeling to get hands on and help the environment in such a positive way! – Vera O’Driscoll, CRS Apprentice