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Rescue saplings from the mulcher with Arkbound’s ‘Oakupy’ project

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Photo by Carol Ann Langford

In this member blog, Ellie Potts shares details of Arkbound’s ‘Oakupy’ project. Ellie Potts is currently on an eight week internship placement with the Arkbound Foundation during her summer break from the University of the West of England, where she studies Creative and Professional Writing. As part of her internship, Ellie is coordinating ‘The Oakupy Project’, a tree planting initiative that aligns with Arkbound’s environmental commitments. 

We are looking for organisations to help us with an exciting oak tree saving project, starting this Autumn.

Getting together like-minded volunteers from every walk of life, we want transform community spaces by planting oak trees.

Do you have some spare space on your grounds? We’d love to help you fill it. Local groups, from students to NHS service users and providers, have already jumped on board to become volunteer planters. We’d be so grateful if you would too.

Organisations and groups in Bristol will receive the saplings free of charge. We want to encourage everyone to get outside, get active and help the environment in the process.

Photo by Lauren Rees

But why oaks? Earlier this year, the UK government announced a plan to encourage landowners to plant more trees. To deal with the predicted demand, nurseries across the country set about planting thousands of acorns. Sadly, the promised subsides failed to materialise and as a result, the market disappeared. Now, 750,000 two-year-old oak trees are due to be destroyed if nurseries cannot sell them this summer.

That’s why we need your help to save these beautiful, English oaks from the mulcher!

At Arkbound, we are committed to environmental protection and reducing resource exploitation. Our publishing social enterprise regularly publishes books, often written by disadvantaged and diverse authors, with strong environmental themes and messages.

Our academic branch is dedicated to ecological research and texts. We aspire to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by enabling people and communities to adapt to climate change, empowering those most at risk to have their voices heard using literature and journalism.

With our tree planting project, we want to encourage everyone, from schools and charities, to youth groups and clubs, to get on board with tackling the climate crisis and create more gorgeous, green spaces in their local area. By planting and caring for these trees, we will all take a step towards making Bristol more sustainable.  

This outdoor project will make for a fantastic socially-distant activity, helping to beat the isolation and anxiety so many of us are suffering from at the hands of the pandemic. The trees could commemorate those who have lost their lives to COVID-19, or the outstanding diligence of the key workers during this difficult time.

The oaks could even be used as an educational prop to start the conversation around green recovery. All and any creative ideas for this project are welcomed.

If you think you, your friends, your organisation or your community group could help us Oakupy the fields, the streets and the gardens of Bristol, please get in touch with Ellie – Ellie@arkfound.org or Steve – info@arkfound.org

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