£10,000 from Richard Watkins

Like many of us businessman Richard Watkins was considering buying land of his own to plant trees. But, again like many of us, he realised the long term implications and management might be too much. So he has made a very generous donation to Avon Needs Trees and we’ve agreed to name one section of the new woods after his family – Watkins Woods. He will know he’s left a legacy and we’re a big step further forward!

If you would like to discuss a similar arrangement please do get in touch.

Carbon Offsetting Vouchers at Alchemy 198 and Room 212

Recently we were approached by Sarah Thorp who owns the art gallery Room 212 and the café/bar Alchemy 198 on Gloucester Road. She told us her customers are becoming increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their consumption, so she’s come up with a plan.

Sarah has had hundreds of business card-sized vouchers printed (all on recycled paper with water-based ink). Now her customers, who are buying local art or just enjoying a pint, can offset their purchases by buying a voucher for a few square metres of Hazeland. Each voucher gets us closer to building new, permanent forest.

The vouchers can also be bought as Christmas gifts to put inside your Christmas cards. Go along to either of Sarah’s businesses and pick one up for yourself!

Sarah has also been a big champion of Avon Needs Trees in the press, organising newspaper articles in Bristol 24/7 and Bristol Live going on BBC Radio Bristol with John Darvall to talk about us. Thanks a lot Sarah!

Waitrose is Supporting ANTs

Avon Needs Trees is one of the chosen charities being supported by local Waitrose super markets! Right now if you shop in Waitrose Chippenham you can cast your vote for ANTs to get a larger share of £500 and in December shoppers at Waitrose Portishead can vote for us to receive a larger share of £1000!

This is all thanks to our supporters going into these shops and nominating us by filling in simple forms and handing them in instore. Please, if you shop in any Waitrose around our region please get one of these forms and fill it in – it could make a big difference. Thank you!

£150,000 from a Family Trust

Fantastic news! A family trust is granting Avon Needs Trees £150,000 to help us buy Hazeland! We’re truly grateful and thrilled that so many generous individuals see the potential of this project as we do.

Combined with the many other donations we have received, we believe we will be in a position to apply for match funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund this November. It’s a very competitive fund, but if we’re successful, we will be able to buy Hazeland next spring.

There is one other option – which is why we still need your help, and why we are particularly interested in finding more companies that might be interested in supporting us. If we can raise another £120,000 from supporters, we will be able to bid into a much less competitive ‘pot’ of funds. Our chances of getting Lottery money will be greatly increased.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our crowdfunder or donated through our website. We still have lots of ANTs Gift Cards available at www.avonneedstrees.org.uk/gift-cards – every £2.50 buys us a square metre of Hazeland so give the tree-lover in your life the gift of permenant forest.

Carbon Offsetting – Aardvark Arts &Crafts

The wonderful people of Aardvark Arts and Crafts have given £1000 to Avon Needs Trees to offset some of their carbon emissions. This is the first time a business has used us to offset and we hope it won’t be the last. Thanks to Lynn and Nick for their contribution. If you’d like to check them out their store is in The Corn Exchange by St Nicholas’s Market in the centre of Bristol.

If you or your business is considering offsetting please check out our policy at www.avonneedstrees.org.uk/carbon-offsetting.

Serious Flooding in Bristol

The Bristol Post and others are reporting serious flooding in many parts of the city as several big rivers burst their banks.

This is ‘tidal lock’ – a very high tide along with heavy inland rain fall means there’s nowhere for the water to go.

This is why we need more natural flood management in the high catchment area. We can’t stop the tides but we can slow the flow down into our cities.

A Big Hug from the Woodlands Trust

We were thrilled to have Jon Attwood from The Woodland Trust visit Hazeland recently. He has given us lots of ideas on how to plan for forest schools and family and special access days. Now we know exactly where we’ll need clearings, access points and compost loos!

It was extraordinary to see the extent of natural rewilding in two of the fields since the current owner has removed his sheep. Alder trees, in particular, seem to be springing up everywhere and Jon was surprised by the lack of deer damage and recent new growth. We even got time for some tree-hugging – for measurement purposes of course!

Four of the UK’s Rarest and Most Highly Protected Bat Species Recorded in the Hazeland Area

Local bat specialists tell us that we have the opportunity to seriously improve habitat for several endangered species. Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats, and also Barbastelles, have been recorded roosting and foraging in the area. These species tend to adopt rivers for their commuting, so our improvements to the Marden Valley river corridor, and the woodlands, should provide new breeding sites and foraging opportunities. These specialists tell us that Bechstein bats are also likely to be in our ancient woodland!

Jeremy Evans from the Woodlands Trust Visits Hazeland

Woodland trust conservationist Jeremy Evans came by Hazeland and through his eyes we saw a wonderful range of habitats that we hadn’t clocked – tree fungi, wet areas of woodland, rotting stumps and scrubby edges. All of these are great habitat now but he agrees that there is massive potential to provide more. This was the first stage of our land planning and we’re looking forward to more onsite visits and even more discoveries of animal poo!