Branching out to restore our woodland

FORESTS have been destroyed to meet the needs of industry, but one Yorkshire company is doing its bit to make Britain green and pleasant again.

This year, Harrogate-based commercial gas supplier CNG expects to plant enough trees to make a forest large enough to shelter Robin Hood and his merry men.

The company plans to plant 20,000 trees during 2014 as part of its corporate partnership with the Woodland Trust.

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The trees will be funded by CNG with staff, customers, suppliers and local people all invited to participate in the tree planting scheme. Tree packs are available in quantities of 30, 105 or 420 saplings.

Jacqui Hall, the managing director of CNG, said: “This partnership means a tremendous amount and is a long-term commitment for the business. Our customers are increasingly looking at environmental credentials and it is something we take extremely seriously, and which we hope to illustrate by our campaign to plant 20,000 trees.”

CNG, which is marking its 20th anniversary, also supports the charity’s work of restoring the UK’s ancient woodlands, which are home to rare wildlife and a vital part of the country’s natural heritage. Ancient woodland covers only two per cent of the UK, and much of it is damaged.

In the decades after both world wars, large areas of ancient woodland were cut down and replanted with fast-growing species like conifers to supply Britain’s need for timber. The seeds, plants and fungi needed to regenerate the lost native woodland are still there, just beneath the surface.

Clare Allen, the head of corporate partnerships at the Woodland Trust said: “Congratulations to CNG on 20 years in business and for marking their milestone by planting trees for the benefit of communities across the UK. The UK is woefully short of trees, with only 13 per cent woodland cover, compared with the European average of 44 per cent, so their efforts are vitally important.”

Get carried away...

OVER the centuries, the bustling streets of York have seen many different modes of transport.

Soon, it seems, rickshaws will be sharing space with the more conventional means of getting about.

We have just been contacted by b-spokes, which according to the PR blurb, is one of the UK’s largest “pedal powered solutions” companies. It’s offering a rickshaw franchise for York.

The company was founded in 2001 and acquired by father and son team Nino and Joe Allenza in 2009.

Nino Allenza said: “We have identified York as a prime site for a b-spokes franchise. The city is a magnet for tourists and it is very bike friendly. We believe it offers the potential for a highly profitable and successful b-spokes franchise business.

“We already have the licences in place and will provide all the equipment, training and support to help the franchisee. There are multiple revenue streams which include taking visitors and locals around the city, outdoor advertising, weddings and corporate events and lastly courier services.”

Diary would love to see the return of the ultimate in luxury travel – the sedan chair, which must have been a familiar sight in York during its commercial heyday.