Willmott Dixon Interiors has announced a new partnership with leading nature charity, The Conservation Volunteers as part of an initiative to improve green spaces across the UK.
The national fit-out and refurbishment specialist contractor will work with The Conservation Volunteers to plant a minimum of 3,084 trees at locations in London, Leeds and the Midlands.
The Conservation Volunteers, tree planting on former colliery, Doncaster
Willmott Dixon Interiors will engage with schools, hospitals and grassroots organisations located close to its construction projects, to improve the local environment for occupiers.
In Epsom, its team delivering the £9.8 million remodelling and fit out of an NHS rehabilitation centre, will work with Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust to plant a tiny forest on hospital grounds. It will provide a green space for patients, staff and visitors and a buffer between the local community and operations of the hospital.
Willmott Dixon Interiors will also work with Waltham Forest Council to plant a separate tiny forest on green space local to the Grade II* former Granada/ EMD Cinema, which is undergoing a £25.6 million restoration.
A dense patch of fast-growing trees, tiny forests bring vibrant pockets of nature into urban areas and can boost biodiversity by up to 20 times more than traditional planting. Following huge success in the Netherlands, the innovative forests and their benefits are now being introduced across the UK.
Other projects being delivered by the partnership include a woodland restoration initiative at Lickey Hills Country Park in Birmingham and the planting of 600 trees on land owned by the local authority in Bramley, Leeds.
Planting on all projects is scheduled to take place during the planting season of November 2021 to March 2022 and will create around 70 volunteering positions.
Willmott Dixon Interiors will encourage its own people to take an active role in planting and the projects will have arrangements in place to ensure their success and longevity.
As part of its ambitions for delivering environmental net gain, Willmott Dixon’s industry-leading sustainability strategy, Now or Never, sets a target for the contractor to plant 100,000 trees nationally by 2030.
Graham Shaw, managing director of Willmott Dixon Interiors, said: “Environmental net gain means leaving the environment in a measurably better state than before. It’s all about creating healthier and happier communities by connecting people to green spaces in their local area.
“Our partnership with The Conservation Volunteers will help us to ensure the long-term success of our projects but the approach isn’t solely focused on tree planting. We’re really excited about working together to engage with schools and other grassroots community organisations and would encourage local volunteers to get involved too.”
Douglas Palarm, Director Partnerships and Fundraising from The Conservation Volunteers, said: “Exciting new partnerships such as this between Willmott Dixon Interiors and the Conservation volunteers will help to connect their colleagues with local community projects, enabling them to have a direct impact on the ground to help tackle our climate and biodiversity emergencies. We invite more people to join in, feel good and leave a lasting green legacy during COP26 and beyond!”