“The health of the environment lays close to our hearts at Allison Risebro, as we need it to be right to ensure our customers get the best quality fruits and vegetables on offer,” said Stuart Allison. “Earlier this year, we planted 1,200 new trees and 400 shrubs on a parcel of land near Stickford in Lincolnshire, one of UK’s key growing regions for fresh produce such as carrots and potatoes.”
With this in mind, on the recommendation of specialists at The Woodland Trust, Allison Risebro this year planted a range of tree species: 150 Aspen; 100 Bird Cherry; 50 Crab Apple; 100 Field Maple; 50 Goat Willow; 200 Hornbeams; 250 Oak; 200 Silver Birch; and 100 Wild Cherry. Alongside the trees, Allison Risebro has also planted 400 shrubs to enhance the hedgerows: 100 Dogwood; 100 Hawthorn; 100 Hazel; and 100 Spindle.
“Long-living native species such as Oak and Maple are very effective at storing carbon dioxide,” said Stuart. “Of course, it doesn’t look much at the moment, but these will grow to be very large, so species such as Hazel, Blackthorn, Crab Apple and Goat Willow were recommended to us for the smaller spaces.
“As our trees grow, they will pull carbon dioxide in through their leaves and convert that into carbohydrates, which they in turn use to grow. For as long as our trees live, that carbon stays within them – they are acting as a natural ‘carbon sink’. It’s said a typical hardwood tree can absorb as much as 20 kilos of CO2 per year. By the time it reaches 40 years old, each tree will have sequestered approximately one tonne of CO2.”
A further 500 trees will be planted next year and Allison Risebro has an ongoing commitment to keep planting, with the proviso that none of the trees can be chopped down for a minimum of 30 years. “One tonne of CO2 per tree might sound a lot,” Stuart said, “but according to figures released in 2020, on average, global human activity puts about 40 billion tonnes of CO2 into the air each year. We can’t change the world on our own, but we do all need to do our bit.”
Stuart not only planted the trees on behalf of his own business, but also “planted” the idea into the mind of Paul Grimshaw at DDP, who quickly followed suit.
“We used an online service, entering various pieces of information and it worked out what our carbon footprint was for the past 12 months for our vehicles. Bearing in mind that most of our journeys are relatively local, we have a smaller fleet compared to many, and the website calculated for us how many trees we should plant to offset our carbon footprint.
“I appreciate that it does not amount to Epping Forest, but it is a start and something we plan to continue. We have certainly received a really positive response from our customers,” said Paul.