As part of our journey towards carbon neutrality to help compensate our emissions we already support a flight offsetting charity called Atmosfair.   Our donations provide efficient cooking stoves in Lesotho which save 80% of energy, produce less smoke and avoids deforestation reducing the need for firewood.  We chose this charity in Lesotho as we have worked there and work regularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Nearer to home Acorn have just pledged to support a conservation charity called Bellhurst Nature Conservation Trust as this charity is very local to us, we are surrounded by their woodland here in the High Weald.

Their aim is to manage their woodlands and farmlands in an appropriate and environmentally responsible way to inspire people and encourage them to understand and value the natural world and the role of farming and woodland management.  Achieved by maintaining their estates wildlife and landscape value and also its agricultural and forestry productivity to provide relevant ecological, economic and social benefits at a local and national level.

For example, this year The Bellhurst Trust has worked in collaboration with the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew on the UK Ash Collecting project.  A small number of trees have shown tolerance to Ash Dieback so collecting seed from these trees is now considered a national priority.  Kew are due to resurvey the Trust’s trees this Summer 2022 to collect seed from those ash trees showing resistance to the disease.

On a social level the Trust works with teachers from 2 local schools for children with disabilities to host Forest Schools as well as with a London based organisation working with inner city young adults to come down and trial a “no impact” overnight stay.  Hoping to instil a love of the outdoors, farming, and wildlife through hands on experience and supporting their self-esteem, confidence and independent learning.

In short, the Trust provides and contributes to multiple public benefits as follows:

  • Conserving and enhancing of wildlife
  • Conserving and enhancing the High Weald and Low Weald landscape
  • Contributing to national and local efforts to ensure England’s ecosystems are better able to adapt to comate change eg providing long-term carbon storage and providing timber as a substitute for high emissions such as coal, oil and concrete
  • Protecting soils from loss and degradation
  • Regulating water flows, attenuating floods and improving water quality
  • Providing quality timber an environmentally responsible woodfuel
  • Providing a resource for outdoor recreation and education
  • Providing local and regional long-term rural employment opportunities such as associated with woodland and farm management, woodfuel, quality timber products and tourism and recreation

Acorn look forward to receiving regular updates on the work and projects of the Bellhurst Nature Conservation Trust.

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