Award-winning newscaster and journalist Jon Snow has outlined his vision for the Heart of England Forest charity during an introduction to the forest event held with local business leaders.
Snow has been appointed Chairman of the Heart of England Forest and hosted organisations from across the region at an event to mark the latest stage of the charity’s project to plant and preserve a native broadleaf forest in the Midlands.
Around 40 business professionals took the chance to hear about the vital work of the charity and its benefits to the public and wildlife, including representatives from Wright Hassall, Leader Communications and Vauxhall who have all supported the forest through corporate partnerships or volunteering.
The Heart of England Forest is the brainchild of the late publishing mogul Felix Dennis, and was established in 2003 with the aim of planting a 30,000 acre forest near his home in Dorsington, and now spreads across Worcestershire and Warwickshire.
Snow was a long-standing friend of Dennis and agreed to lead the charity’s board of trustees at Dennis’ request before he died last year.
“The forest is growing at the rate of 120,000 trees per year and last year planted five per cent of all trees planted in the UK, which is an outstanding achievement,” said Snow.
“It’s an incredibly exciting thing to be involved in and it has everything going for it and is going to have a massive impact on the area.”
“There really is lots of potential for the charity, and what we really want to do is spread the word of the forest and its work, and tell people that it is coming of age.”
“It will be a fantastic resource, and a lung, for businesses in the Midlands and beyond and I am incredibly excited to be a part of it.”
Since the charity was founded, more than 3,000 acres of new woodland have been created, including the planting of over 1.3 million native trees.
Alison Hunter, Trustee of the Heart of England Forest, added: “We’re delighted Jon has joined us as chair the board of trustees, and we’re keen to extend the reach of the charity’s vision and our ambitions to local organisations and spread the word within the local community.
“The event was a perfect opportunity to say thank you to the businesses who have already supported us on our journey to create this amazing forest in the local area but to also let new organisations know about how they can be involved and become ambassadors for what really is an incredibly exciting project.”