Central England Co-op members to help create new woodland in the National Forest as funding for planting of 200 trees agreed

Posted by james brindle | Published: 30/04/2021

Central England Co-op members in Leicestershire have agreed to provide funding to the National Forest as part of the retailer’s continued drive to create a sustainable Society for all.

The Southern Membership and Community Council at Central England Co-op have agreed £3,000 will be donated to dedicate 200 trees to be planted later this year, kicking off what is hoped will be a fruitful relationship with the National Forest.

The Council, made up of Central England Co-op members and colleagues, decided to provide the funding as it felt it was a perfect fit with the Society’s objectives and priorities, particularly around sustainability.

This latest project also aligns to the MCC’s Membership and Community Strategy which includes a focus on fair and sustainable communities, health and wellbeing, and education, culture and recreation.

It is hoped this will be the start of a long-term relationship with the National Forest with the opportunity to get involved and support the creation of more woodlands in the future.

Tim Adkin, Southern MCC Council Member, said: “Our members are really excited at the opportunity to contribute to new woodland within our glorious National Forest through this new partnership.

“When we met as a Council to look at our priorities for the coming year and into the future, we were keen to look at how we can embark on more projects involving outdoor activity and that fit with the overall Society purpose of creating a sustainable Society for all.

“Having the National Forest on our doorstep, it made perfect sense to provide funding for the planting of trees to support that mission and provide benefits around health and wellbeing for our members and communities.

“We are also looking forward to exploring more ways we can work with the National Forest in the future for the benefit of our communities.”

David Bourque, Director of Development for the National Forest said: “We are delighted to receive funding and support from members of Central England Co-op. We share a passion for creating a positive, sustainable future and are eager to work with supporters where we feel we are genuinely growing the future together.”


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral and property investment.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of members, its over 7,800 colleagues serve customers across 400 plus trading sites in 16 counties in the East and West Midlands, Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.

Its purpose is to inspire communities to create a sustainable Society for all.

It actively campaigns for the Government to increase sentencing for violent attacks on retail workers and works with FareShare Midlands and hundreds of food banks, generating enough food donations to create over 2.1 million meals for people in need.

The Society embraces inclusivity and equality and is a signed-up member to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter, while it is also fully committed to addressing the impact of climate change and is on track to be Carbon Neutral by 2030. 

It invests a percentage of its trading profit into local communities through its Community Dividend Fund scheme which has seen over £175,000 shared out between 116 good causes over the past 12 months.

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

Phone - 01543 421390

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop


About The National Forest

1. The National Forest area covers 200 square miles of the counties of Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire.  Its objective is to increase woodland cover within its boundaries from an initial six per cent to about a third. No multi-purpose forest on this scale has been created in the UK for one thousand years. Nine million trees have been planted so far, trebling the proportion of woodland cover in the Forest to over 21 per cent. 

2. Year by year, the National Forest has been steadily turning what was once one of the least wooded areas of England into a multi-purpose, sustainable forest.  The National Forest provides environmental, social and economic benefits, including landscape enhancement, creation of new wildlife habitats and major new access and leisure opportunities. It is an excellent example of sustainable development – with environmental improvement providing a stimulus both to economic regeneration and to community pride and activity.

3. To achieve these objectives, the National Forest Company leads the creation of the National Forest, working in partnership with landowners, local authorities, private business, voluntary organisations and local communities and has strong support from Government, politicians and the public.  The Company, now also a charity, continues to receive grant support from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Charity no: 1166563.