Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland dug deep to meet the worldwide Rotary Tree Challenge of planting one tree per member by April 2018 and broke the target by several thousand.
Over 63,000 trees were planted or donated to international environmental initiatives.
Many Rotary clubs involved local schools by taking them out of the classroom to enjoy a great day out and help local wildlife.
The challenge of one tree per member, meaning a global target of 1.2 million trees, was set by the last year’s Rotary International President, Ian Riseley, who believed that protecting the environment and curbing climate change are essential to Rotary’s goal of sustainable service.
With help from the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, our clubs set to work and between July 2017 and April 2018. We dug and we planted.
While spending time in the UK, Ian Riseley planted two commemorative trees of his on to help towards our target.
The scheme received enough donations to plant over 22,500 trees.”
Back in February while hosting the Rotary Peacebuilding Conference in Coventry, Ian unveiled a tree planted by the five Rotary clubs in Coventry, which grew from a ‘seed of peace’ taken from a tree that survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.
While in April during our national Conference in Torquay, Ian helped local clubs plant a group of Elm trees.
As well as trees providing benefits to our own countryside, rural and urban areas, Rotary clubs were keen to embrace the challenge while recognising the huge impact tropical trees can make to communities overseas.
Harrogate Rotary’s Terry Knowles, Rotary Tree Challenge Co-ordinator for Great Britain and Ireland, said there was a clear winning effort doing just that, made by one area in particular which was awarded the Rodney Huggins Tree Award.
“The winner was found in North East England, where Rotary member Paul Keeley and his Sustainable Global Gardens project in Africa was a great success. The scheme received enough donations to plant over 22,500 trees.”
Rotary clubs in the UK collaborated with Rotary clubs in Kenya and Tanzania, with many planting activities taking place in schools, providing children with a better educational environment.
We would like to thank our friends at the Woodland Trust who provided many trees through their Community Tree Pack scheme and also offered trees at special rates for this project.
Their support for this challenge is greatly appreciated.