Adam Gretton, Regional Sales Manager at Sonru, contributed to this year’s autumn edition of The Student Employer Magazine, sharing details of his initiative to fight back against climate change in his spare time. Read the full article featured, below.
In 2008, family members, friends and myself decided to set up a not-for-profit community group called ‘More Trees for Bath and North East Somerset’.
Snappy title, right? At least it does what it says on the tin! There was a funny moment during a telephone interview with a potential new Treasurer (this was before I knew about Sonru, so I had to resort to the telephone). He thought I was calling from ‘Mortuaries for Bath and North East Somerset’, and thought they were being amazingly proactive in contacting him before he’d popped his clogs.
Anyway, I digress. The main driver for setting up this group, was my increasing concern over climate change. I decided to take some positive and direct action. I read an article in National Geographic about the then Mayor of Paris who made it his mission to create as much green space in the city as possible and by then end of his term he had increased the green cover in Paris to 30%.
This really inspired me, and I started to think about what we could do in Bath. I envisaged more street trees, but we’ve found it much simpler to plant in parkland, countryside and gardens. Less red tape and slightly easier to dig holes!
I’ve been supported by amazing volunteers and despite everyone having day jobs and families etc., we’ve managed to plant over 4,000 trees so far. These have been mostly in schools and publicly accessible land, and every year we give away fruit trees to residents.
We even set up the ‘Tree Adoption Agency’ where we foster unwanted saplings until we can find them a permanent home. Anyone want a free tree?
As well as being able to offset our family carbon footprint many times over, I love the opportunity it gives me to be in the great outdoors. As much as I love my job, I also can’t wait to get home to spend time with my family and get my hands in the dirt. A keen but very amateur gardener, planting trees is a natural extension of that.
It’s also been a fantastic way to get to know like-minded people – you’d be hard pushed to find someone who doesn’t like the idea of more trees, so it’s an even easier idea to pitch than video interviews!
I’ve got to know many local councillors, mayors and interesting characters that run other local projects. My favourite group recently is the Warleigh Weir Project, where I have become a Project Guardian and we’ll be planting trees there in a few weeks. Also, a number of employers have sent out teams of volunteers, having found us on Neighbourly. Most recently Danone and Nationwide Building Society – thanks again!
Eventually, we would love to get much more done – 4,000 trees isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things. Perhaps with more donors and volunteers we’ll be able to accelerate what we do. Please check us out at https://moretreesbanes.interests.me/.