TGO & NHS FOREST TRUST

THE GREAT OUTDOOR GYM COMPANY - TREE SPONSORSHIP REPORT 2018

 The NHS Forest is a project coordinated by the charity – the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. Established in 2009, the project’s central aims are to:

 

  • Improve the health and wellbeing of staff, patients and local communities through increasing access to green space on or near to NHS land

  • Spark projects that bring together professionals and volunteers to use new and existing woodland for art, food crops, reflective or exercise spaces and to encourage biodiversity

  • Highlight innovative ideas to encourage the use of green space for therapeutic purposes, including social prescribing.

 

The Great Outdoor Gym Company are supporting the NHS Forest by sponsoring one tree per item of gym equipment sold. So far, TGOGC’s donations have enabled the purchase and planting of 3,285 trees across the NHS Forest, including the establishment of several larger blocks of new woodland.

 

TGOGC’s contribution has made a huge impact both to the individual sites whose work has been supported through this partnership and also to the NHS Forest as a whole. This report outlines how this contribution has been spent, and the impact that it has achieved in the areas which it has supported.

TGOGC’s contribution has made a huge impact both to the individual sites whose work has been supported through this partnership and also to the NHS Forest as a whole. This report outlines how this contribution has been spent, and the impact that it has achieved in the areas which it has supported.

The Great Outdoor Gym company are supporting the NHS Forest by sponsoring one tree per item of gym equipment sold.

So far, TGOGC’s donations have enabled the purchase and planting of 3,285 trees across the NHS Forest, including

the establishment of several larger blocks of new woodland.

 

2014

910 TREES

 

2015

1,118 TREES

 

2016

1,000 TREES

 

2017-2018

257 TREES

 

TOTAL

3,285 TREES AND COUNTING

TGOGC’s contribution has made a huge impact both to the individual sites whose work has been supported through this partnership and also to the NHS Forest as a whole. This report outlines how this contribution has been spent, and the impact that it has achieved in the areas which it has supported.

 

NUMBER AND LOCATION OF TREES

UP TO MID-2014: TOTAL 910 TREES

 

NUMBER AND LOCATION OF TREES

UP TO 2015: TOTAL 1118 TREES

2016: TOTAL 1000 TREES

2017/2018: TOTAL 257 TREES

TYPES OF TREES PROVIDED

The trees provided under the TGOGC sponsorship scheme have been "whips", small specimens of one to two years of age, typically varying between 40cm and 80cm in height depending on species. All trees provided have been an appropriate mixture of native British broadleaves, with good potential to enhance biodiversity and enhance local wildlife.

Recent plantings have included silver birch; hornbeam; hazel; beech; ash; wild cherry; English oak; whitebeam; rowan (mountain ash); and lime trees. The trees have been sourced from reputable wholesalers. The cost per tree has included supply, guard and stake.

The mix of species frequently included in planting schemes is influenced by local biological factors and also personal choice. In the case of Lancashire Care's Wetland Area, for example, a mixture of willow species was specified, as these are more tolerant of the wetter conditions. Meanwhile, in Sheffield the mix was selected to contrast with an adjacent Forestry Commission scheme and included a black poplar. According to the Forestry Commission, black poplar is the most endangered native timber tree in Britain. However, they can frequently live to be 200 years old - so hopefully this one will be long lasting!

PLANTING SPECIFICATION

As with the species selection, the planting specification varies between sites. Larger scale woodland creation initiatives tend to favour a more intense coverage of smaller specimens, while smaller schemes will use fewer, larger, specimens. Trees are typically planted barerooted, which requires that they are planted during the autumn/winter season, when the trees are dormant and there is less danger of the roots drying out. This typically runs between October and March every year.

WOODLAND CREATION - "NOTCH" PLANTING

For scheme of this type, the typical approach is to remove the earth from a 150mm square in the area to be planted, and then create a slit in the ground, into which the root is placed, and then pressed in. The removed sod is then replaced, grass-side down,

around the base of the tree to form the mulch which protects the roots until they can be properly established. Rabbit-proof guards are commonly used to defend the young tree from wildlife grazing. Stakes may or may not be used as often the young tree has few branches or leaves and can survive moderate winds unassisted.

The trees in the picture above, in Birmingham, have been planted with canes and tube guards, as their more developed foliage means that they are more susceptible to wind damage in the crucial early years before their root systems are properly established.

LARGER SPECIMENS - PIT PLANTING

For larger trees, the norm is to plant them in specially prepared pits,enriched with compost, which then require proper stakes and, depending on their location, guards, as seen in the picture here of former Prime Minister, David Cameron, planting a commemorative tree at the Warneford 'family' were able to attend this event, which marked NHS Sustainability Day in 2014.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Wherever possible, we seek to involve local people in planting the trees. Not only does this connect people with the sites and provide an opportunity for learning about the trees and the techniques of planting them, it also adds sustainability to the scheme by developing a cohort of "stewards" who are invested in the woodland and can help in its aftercare and longer-term management. This images below are from the planting event at New Court Centre in Malvern where community members helped to establish a new copse near to Prospect Medical Centre.

"The planting location was urban in character and on reclaimed ground, so there was an opportunity for us to use a different species mix to help distinguish the NHS Forest area, supported by TGOGC, from the adjacent Forestry Commission scheme which used a more traditional palette. The trees are now establishing well and include out rarest UK tree, black poplar, as well as numerous ancient woodland indicator species such as small leaved lime and wild service tree. These species are becoming increasingly rare in our countryside so it was nice to be able to include them in the species mix for biodiversity. The woodland was planted in the deprived area of Park Hill, whose population have little access to quality woodland or greenspace. The riders of the new plantation are now being used by local people and dog walkers on a daily basis on what was formerly a little used "green desert" of amenity grassland.

It is hoped that this new woodland will provide relaxation and recreation for local people for many years to come."

Angus Hunter, Community Forestry Officer at Sheffield City Council:

FEEDBACK AND TESTIMONIALS

FEEDBACK AND TESTIMONIALS

Mike Goodfellow-Smith, Chair, Malvern Community Forest:

"For us the best part of our community projects is when we are planting trees. The land behind Prospect Medical Centre was badly neglected and used for drugs and stolen materials. Now the community can use the site safely and proudly planted the trees on land that will develop into a wonderful health, ecology and well-being site. The trees provided by NHS Forest, with the support of The Great Outdoor Gym Company, were in excellent condition."

CASE HISTORY - NORFOLK AND NORWICH UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS

Thanks to sponsorship funding from The Great Outdoor Gym Company, staff and volunteers from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals (NNUH) came together on NHS Sustainability Day 2017 to plant eight large trees to mark the hospital's commitment to sustainability, joining NHS organisations across the country in projects and activities which celebrate good environmental practice in the health service.

Georgie Delaney, Managing Director at TGOGC, said “We are delighted to sponsor this initiative, and a tree is planted for every piece of gym equipment we install. As a company we are passionate in promoting sustainable health care and the positive effects that exercising outdoors has on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Our gyms are designed and produced in the UK, are free to use, inclusive for wheelchair users and meet the very strictest of safety standards ensuring they are safe for all ages and abilities. The tree planting forms part of our strategy to be the greenest, safest and strongest provider of outdoor equipment in the world”

This planting is part of a wider conservation programme that NNUH has undertaken which also includes a woodland walk around the hospital site.

Richard Parker, Chief Operating Officer at NNUH, said: “At NNUH, we are very aware of the vital importance of green spaces to people’s health. A healthy tree population at our hospital plays a vital role in promoting green spaces for our patients, visitors and staff to enjoy long into the future.”

Emma Jarvis, Environmental Arts Manager at NNUH, said: “Tree planting and the care of our tree stock is a vital part of our work to improve the environment. The trees that are being planted are native species, and vital supporters of the ecosystem as they sustain and support local wildlife and bee populations.”