Sainsbury’s to help plant millions of native British trees across Centenary Woods in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

LONDON, 2014-6-5 — /EPR Retail News/ — Sainsbury’s is marking its ten year partnership with the Woodland Trust by announcing a new partnership to support the charity’s commemorative First World War Centenary Woods project. Customers who buy Sainsbury’s Woodland free range eggs, chicken and turkey will not only be buying higher welfare produce – they will be helping to create four lasting memorial woodlands for those affected by the Great War across the UK.

As the Woodland Trust’s biggest supporter, Sainsbury’s will help plant millions of native British trees across Centenary Woods in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Money raised by Sainsbury’s will be through:

  • Sales of its Woodland product s in store. Sainsbury’s donates 1p from every dozen Woodland free range eggs sold, 2p from Woodland chicken and 10p from Woodland turkeys to the Woodland Trust
  • Sales of dedicated Woodland products including English apples, honey and Jute bags
  • Promoting tree planting through customers and colleagues

The Woodland Trust today announced the location of Scotland’s Centenary Wood, in the Pentland Hills, south of Edinburgh. Over the next four years more than 50,000 trees including oak, birch and rowan will be planted. The first Sainsbury’s funded tree will be planted in honour of Margaret Murison’s grandfather William Balmer and his brother John, who both fell on the 11 April 1917.

Mrs Murrison said: “William and John are buried in France, but it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to visit their graves. Dedicating trees to their memory is a wonderful idea, bringing them to life for me more vividly than ever before. It’s something that’s growing, something that’s living and fresh.”

England’s Centenary Wood will cover 640 acres in Langley Vale, near Epsom, Surrey. Sainsbury’s has hand picked David Appleton from Diss, Suffolk to plant the first Sainsbury’s funded tree in honour of his four great-uncles, George, Charles, Henry and Frances James, who were all killed in action between 1915 and 1916.

Mr Appleton said: “I think the new Centenary Woods are as fitting a means of commemoration as can be imagined: practical, beneficial and long-term sustainable. A wood is the polar opposite of war – a beautiful, peaceful oasis of calm and life which throws into sharp contrast all that war brings.”

Mike Coupe, Sainsbury’s Group Commercial Director and CEO Delegate said: “We’re pleased to support such a fitting memorial to those affected by the First World War. It’s important to our customers and colleagues, and commemorative to the 350 colleagues who fell during World War One.

“As well as choosing our high welfare Woodland products, our customers know they’re also playing a part in a great cause that we’ve supported for 10 years.”

The first Sainsbury’s funded tree in the 53 acre Centenary Wood in Faughan Valley, County Londonderry in Northern Ireland will be dedicated to Edmund Gray, and planted by his nephew, Stanley McMinn from Londonderry.  Private Edmund Gray was a 26 year old stretcher bearer for the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers in Passchendaele when he was killed in 1917, by shell fire while retrieving a wounded officer.

Mr McMinn said: “There is no known grave for Eddie and his remains were never found. I think the Centenary woods are a brilliant idea and an excellent way to commemorate all those who fell like my Uncle Eddie. I’m so excited that the Northern Ireland wood will be near where we live, and I will be able to go and visit.”

Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of the Woodland Trust said: “I am new to the Woodland Trust but I have already seen how mutually beneficial and fruitful this partnership has been over the past ten years – and look forward to the First World War project – and the creation of 1,000 acres of woodland through our four centenary woods.

“It will ensure all those brave people who fell while representing Britain and the Commonwealth will never be forgotten, while also helping to create lasting legacies that people can hopefully benefit from for hundreds of years to come – as well as ensuring over three million trees are available to schools, community groups and youth groups.

“On behalf of myself and the Woodland Trust, I thank Sainsbury’s for continuing to support and work with us to ensure that together we protect and create woods which are the lifeline for both people and wildlife.”

Clive Anderson, British radio and television presenter and President of the Woodland Trust continues: “I have been President of the Woodland Trust for 10 years, during which time  the partnership between the Woodland Trust and Sainsbury’s has flourished, through schemes such woodland eggs and chickens which benefit farmers as well as preserve trees and woods.

“The Woodland Trust’s project, with the support of £1 million from Sainsbury’s to plant millions of trees across the United Kingdom in memory of the fallen. Allows anyone to be involved and I believe it’s a project that will capture the nation’s heart.

“In this time of great stress on our woods it is vital we redouble our efforts on behalf of our trees to preserve a landscape fit for heroes. In the long run, trees planted today will outlive us and enhance the lives of generations to come.”

Sainsbury’s latest commitment to growing British woodlands adds to the £3.5 million the retailer has donated during its ten year partnership with the Woodland Trust. Since Sainsbury’s first Woodland free range eggs were sourced from Devon in 2004, it is the only retailer to offer high welfare Woodland eggs, chicken and turkey. The Woodland fowl have freedom to roam in a natural wooded environment, under the shelter and protection of trees and hedges. All woodland farms are planted with a mix of indigenous trees, not only benefiting the welfare of the animals, but also enhancing the biodiversity of the UK.

Notes to editors

  • Sainsbury’s latest commitment to growing British woodlands adds to the £3.5 million the retailer has donated during its ten year partnership with the Woodland Trust
  • Sainsbury’s first Woodland product was free range eggs which launched in 2004
  • Sainsbury’s has a target to plant 2 million trees by 2015, as set out in our 20×20 Sustainability Plan
  • The Woodland Trust has been planting trees and standing up for woodland for 40 years. Today, it’s an even louder voice for woodland and the species that call it home. Today it owns 1,200 woods which are open year round for the public to enjoy free of charge. And it continues to plant.  In the last year it’s planted 6 million trees, many with the help of schools and communities to create urban green spaces.

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Sainsbury’s to help plant millions of native British trees across Centenary Woods in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Sainsbury’s to help plant millions of native British trees across Centenary Woods in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales