Forestry England and DPD announce four-year partnership to plant and restore woodlands across England
Forestry England and DPD today announced a four-year partnership to plant and restore woodland across England to tackle climate change and create positive benefits for local wildlife and communities. The partnership will focus on four separate woodland sites where DPD support will enable Forestry England to plant trees to create new woodland areas and carry out work restoring valuable established woodlands.
The partnership was officially launched at Colliers Wood near Manchester, the first site which will benefit from DPD’s partnership support. This urban woodland covering just over 136 hectares is a much-used community green space on the site of a former coal mine. More than 4,000 new trees will be planted to increase the biodiversity of the woodland and expand the existing tree cover.
Local children from St Gabriel’s Catholic Primary School joined Forestry England and DPD representatives to plant the first saplings, and the rest of the new trees will be planted during the winter of 2022. Forestry England will create opportunities for the local community to get involved with the planting and ongoing work to look after the woodland as the new trees mature.
Other sites across England will benefit from DPD’s support over the partnership period, including Pleasant Forest in Kent, a new 119-hectare woodland which Forestry England is creating. DPD will fund 4,000 trees to be planted within this new woodland which will have public access and recreation, create wildlife habitats and provide a supply of sustainable timber.
At Dimmingsdale in Staffordshire, restoration work will be carried out to replace trees affected by disease and ensure the woodland is resilient in the future. The final programme element will be planting a new woodland for wellbeing in Hamsterley Forest, County Durham, where 100 ornamental oak trees, a timber shelter and seating will provide a new accessible space for visitors and the local community to enjoy the forest landscape.
The partnership announced today will mean an increase in the tree planting programme Forestry England is embarked on and builds on a strong existing relationship between Forestry England and DPD. Since 2020, DPD have worked with Forestry England to restore Dorset’s Wareham Forest following a devastating fire. As well as supporting the planting of 79,000 trees and beginning the process of re-establishing precious wildlife habitats that were lost in the blaze, the partnership also allowed Forestry England to invest in specialist equipment to create fire breaks at Wareham and other sites, helping avoid similar catastrophic events in the future.
DPD’s donation will be made from its Eco Fund, part of the company’s wide-ranging sustainability programme. The DPD Eco Fund is funded solely by the firm’s circular economy initiatives. Plastic shrink wrap used throughout the operation is broken down, and then recycled to create new plastic shrink wrap. The money generated from this, along with the recycling of wooden pallets, goes straight into the Eco Fund to fund sustainable projects benefiting the environment.
Josephine Lavelle, Forestry England Director of Marketing and Engagement, said:
“We’re delighted to continue our partnership with DPD and together we’re set to make a tangible difference in the urgent fight against climate change and the stark decline in biodiversity. Resilient forests and woodlands play a vital role in tackling these twin crises as well as providing much-needed beautiful and inspiring places for people to enjoy and explore.
“Over the next four years, the programme of tree planting and woodland restoration that this partnership makes possible, will enable us to create flourishing wildlife habitats, increase carbon storage and plant a woodland for wellbeing to allow people decades ahead to benefit from a positive connection with nature. Working with a company like DPD with clear environmental values and a commitment to putting those in action means we can work at scale, plan for the long-term and do more to ensure our forest landscapes thrive.”
Tim Jones, Director of Marketing, Communications and Sustainability, DPDgroup UK,
“At DPD we challenge ourselves to be greener and more sustainable at every level, from delivering clean and green to 25 of the largest towns and cities in the UK with our rapidly growing fleet of EVs to changing our own parcel bags to 80% reclaimed material and 100% recyclable. Having our own circular economy means we can generate eco funds to directly back initiatives like this. Working with Forestry England has given us an insight into the challenges they face, and we are very proud to support them and work alongside them in this way.”
The partnership will include DPD staff engagement opportunities in some of the nation’s forests, offering wellbeing benefits to the company’s workforce and access to Forestry England resources. In addition, DPD staff will have the chance to volunteer at some of Forestry England’s sites close to where they live and work.
The launch comes at a time of major national focus on tree planting, woodland creation and nature recovery, with the government last year setting targets to treble tree planting rates in England by 2024. Forestry England’s aim is to plant at least 2,000 hectares of new woodland (roughly equivalent to four million trees) in England over the next five years.
Notes to Editor
- Photos from the planting at Colliers Wood are available here. Please credit Forestry England/Crown copyright.
- Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, with over 296 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 DPD UK
In April 2015, DPD was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2015 in the Innovation category, for its unique one-hour delivery service, Predict.
In 2018, DPD opened the UK’s first all-electric parcel delivery depot in Westminster. DPD currently has over 1,700 EVs on the road in the UK and in October 2020, announced plans to deliver to 25 of the largest towns and cities in the UK with zero and low-emission delivery means by 2023. In July 2021, Oxford became DPD’s first all-electric city in the UK. Details of all of DPD’s sustainability initiatives can be found on its dedicated green website: https://green.dpd.co.uk/
DPD is a member of DPDgroup, the largest parcel delivery network in Europe. DPDgroup is the parcel delivery network of GeoPost, a holding company owned by France’s La Poste. The company operates more than 10,000 vehicles from 84 locations and delivers over 400 million parcels a year.