Forestry England and British Airways partner to plant trees and create wildflower meadow in new Buckinghamshire woodland
Forestry England and British Airways today announced a one-year partnership which will support planting 9,000 oak trees and help create an area of wildflower meadow at Wing Wood in Buckinghamshire.
Wing Wood is a new 51-hectare woodland Forestry England is creating to be an inspiring green space for local people, a valuable habitat for wildlife and a sustainable source of timber. Support from British Airways’ Better World Community Fund is boosting the number of trees being planted and has kickstarted funding for the wildflower meadow in the new woodland.
Forestry England have already planted more than 109,000 broadleaf and conifer trees at Wing Wood and will plant another 23,000 this year. Thanks to British Airways’ support, this will include 9,000 oak trees, with British Airways staff joining Forestry England to begin the planting of these at Wing Wood. They also saw how the rest of the new woodland is being created including the preparations for the wildflower meadow, the first section of which will be planted in the spring.
With kickstarter support from British Airways, Forestry England have launched a fundraising campaign using Crowdfunder. They are aiming to raise £16,000 to expand the new wildflower meadow at Wing Wood, which will cover just over half a hectare. The donations will buy beautiful wildflower plants like yellow rattle, birdsfoot trefoil, bellflowers, columbine and knapweed. The meadow will be a spectacular feature as it establishes, and paths alongside will allow visitors to get close up when they are exploring the woodland.
It will blend with the woodland, providing essential food plants for pollinating insects such as butterflies and bees and shelter for small mammals and birds, creating a joined-up mosaic of habitats across Wing Wood. Later this year Forestry England will begin creating five new wildlife ponds, a community orchard and accessible paths. Local people will have a chance to help the woodland take shape at a community planting day on 10th February.
Bethany Cambridge, Forestry England Head of Woodland Creation, said:
“Wing Wood is one of many new woodlands Forestry England is creating across the country to tackle the climate emergency and the nature crisis we are facing, as well as providing beautiful, inspiring places for people to spend time in. Since the 1930s over 97 per cent of precious wildflower meadows have disappeared.
“By planting this meadow alongside the thousands of trees, we’re creating a biodiverse landscape which will provide many benefits including creating healthy soil, storing carbon and supporting wildlife to thrive. We’re delighted to be working with British Airways to expand what we’re doing at Wing Wood and look forward to seeing this new climate-resilient woodland mature in the years ahead. Partner support like this means we can do more in our woodland creation work, delivering health and wellbeing benefits for communities and supporting nature’s recovery”.
Mary Brew, Head of Community Investment and Responsible Business at British Airways, said of the partnership:
“We are delighted to support Forestry England as part of our BA Better World Community Fund. Our fund strives to support organisations and social enterprise groups that deliver benefits and life-changing opportunities for the communities we serve around the UK. By working with Forestry England, we’re able to support the charity in creating beautiful green space to be enjoyed by the local community and wildlife alike and we’re looking forward to seeing Wing Wood grow over the years to come.”
As part of the partnership, British Airways staff will also volunteer alongside Forestry England teams to help look after woodlands and forests at four sites across England.
The partnership announcement comes at a time of major national focus on tree planting, woodland creation and nature recovery, with Government targets to treble tree planting rates in England by 2024. Forestry England is planting at least 2,000 hectares of new, high-quality woodland in England by 2025. Several new woodlands are being created as Coronation Woods to mark the Coronation of King Charles III and leave a lasting legacy for people and nature.
People can donate to the wildflower meadow appeal through the dedicated Crowdfunder page.
Notes to Editor
- Photos from the planting at Wing Wood are available here with caption information. Please credit Forestry England/Crown copyright.
- Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, with over 291 million visits per year. As England’s largest land manager, we shape landscapes and enhance forests for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow. We are continuing the work we have already started to make the nation’s forests resilient to climate change and by 2026 we will:
- create at least 6,000 more hectares where we integrate wilding activities in our productive forests.
- increase the diversity of visitors to the nation’s forests and have one million hours of high-quality volunteer time given to the nation’s forests.
- plant at least 2,000 hectares of new, high quality, predominantly broadleaf woodlands
For more information visit forestryengland.uk. Forestry England is an agency of the Forestry Commission.
- About Community Investment at British Airways
For more than 30 years British Airways has supported our colleagues and customers in charitable giving in the communities we serve. In March 2022 we launched a new BA Better World Community Fund, to further the positive work we do in communities across the UK. Through our BA Better World Community Fund, we hope to create more life-changing opportunities and further support organisations and projects that have a positive impact in communities within the UK, enabling us to support projects that deliver benefits for climate, communities, colleagues and nature.
Since its launch, the fund has reached £5 million through donations and funding on our Crowdfunder platform. The fund has supported more than 260 projects including providing funding for holiday clubs for children during the summer holidays as well as supporting other environmental, educational and inclusive charities.
In times of crisis internationally and in the UK, British Airways works with partners, including the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) and the British Red Cross, to ensure that vital relief gets to where it’s needed as quickly as possible, helping to save lives and rebuild communities.
In addition, British Airways has a flagship charity programme called Flying Start, a global partnership with Comic Relief launched in 2010, which focuses on helping underprivileged young people have a better start in life. During flights we encourage customers to donate any spare currency they may have and since the start of the partnership we have raised more than £28 million, helping more than 1 million. Alongside customer donations, our colleagues raise hundreds of thousands of pounds every year.
For more information visit: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/about-ba/ba-better-world/responsible-business
- Forestry England is creating Wing Wood through the Government’s Nature for Climate Fund. The Government has committed to increasing tree planting rates across the UK to 30,000 hectares per year by the end of this Parliament and intend to spend over £500 million of the £640 million Nature for Climate Fund on trees and woodlands in England between 2020 and 2025 to support this ambition.
Media Contact: Naomi Fuller firstname.lastname@example.org mobile: 07825 255618