Growing new roots
Lancashire Life|August 2020
Growing new roots
The Peel Bank Woodland and Conservation Trust is working to plant more trees at sites across Lancashire
Lauren Allen

A revolutionary move to offset carbon emissions in 1989 by the managing director of a small engineering company is today prompting the planting of more trees in Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley.

During the very early years of the concept of global warming and using trees to sequester carbon, Gordon Swindells made it his mission to make the company – situated at Peel Bank Works in Church, Accrington – carbon neutral.

With the help and research of the biological science department at The University of Manchester, Emerson & Renwick calculated its carbon emissions, how many trees and on how much land it would need to offset those emissions. It funded student research projects into the efficient use of energy, tree growth and the long term storage of carbon in wood products to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

‘It was one of the first companies to look at doing that,’ says Gordon’s daughter Laura Taylor. The company made regular contributions to purchase land and fund tree-planting in local areas until 2002, but when Gordon retired, the project was turned into an independent self-funded charity, the Peel Bank

Woodland and Conservation Trust, and split off from the engineering company. Laura has been a trustee there for the last 30 years.

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August 2020