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Russell Ball at a school during the 1,500 mile ride from Gibraltar to London

Gibraltar to London cycle promotes regular giving

 

Trustee Russell Ball explains why he undertook a 1,500 mile solo bike ride from Gibraltar to London.

Why this ride? Since hearing about this challenging route in my local cycle shop and biking the UK twice it seemed an ideal way of raising the bar. Moreover, there was a logical link between the botanic gardens of Alameda in Gibraltar and Kew in London. With sponsorship secured from Eezytreev and Gristwood & Toms the plan was set for a solo unsupported Fund4Trees (F4T) ride. One month out from the ride around 600 miles training were put in to stress-test the legs.

And so the day came. Bike serviced and boxed-up for the Gatwick flight. No turning back now. Sight of the infamous huge vertical “Rock” on landing in Gibraltar was impressive. Pondered just have to bike that? On ride-eve stayed with Jon Hammerton (Alameda Gardens: General Manager) and family. I’d known Jon from his heady days at Kew and was impressed that he’d organised the garden’s director Dr K. Bensusan, the Hon. John Cortes Gibraltar Environmental MP and even the TV to attend the first tree planting. And of course not forgetting – I biked the 400m high “Rock”. A short-sharp climb so steep that the bike front wheel bounced off the ground as I pedal-pumped to the top. Views were fantastic though with Morocco a short distance away on the horizon.

The TV filmed ash tree planting was a success with the Notre Dame school ending with the F4T “Grow-tree-Grow” chant. Time for a quick shopping trip (see Kew later) then exit for ride day-one with thoughts of “am I really doing this” crossing on my mind.

Gibraltar to Madrid. A flat coastal road lead towards Málaga (birthplace of Picasso) overlooking the blue Mediterranean with the warm salty air filling my nostrils. Felt like being on holiday but I knew this was going to be a real test of determination and self-belief. A steady 80 miles and all systems good. Day two was a complete contrast climbing up into El Puerto de las Pedrizas though a dusty-red landscape peppered with olive trees. A 780m climb of over four hours with close quarter lorries thundering by. Next day leaving Malaga was nearly game-changer as bikes are not permitted on some of the A-road and had to use the parallel E-902. This decades old – virtually unused – route is now a dirt-track at best with loose gravel, rocks and steep craggy ascents and descents. Just not suitable for my hybrid road bike. A one point in pouring rain thought crossing Spain like this was not do-able. Thankfully afters many hours the track led to an asphalt road: heaven! And arrived in Jaen (worlds capital for olive oil) like an exhausted drowned rat! Next day started well but then the asphalt road ran-out: back to the dismal E-902. After a quick petrol-station divert was advised to leave this track and head for Santa Elena on the edge of the Despeñaperros national park. This was reached by a steady winding climb through a dense cork oak and pine forest, with nobody for miles. Perfect. One of many steep snaking descents followed next day with a spectacular climb up into this UNESCO national park. Near the top had a close-quarters wildlife encounter. A large female red deer came crashing through the roadside forest and darted in front of me. Just a few meters closer and it would have been a wipe-out! Another few hours of dismal track followed shortly after then a smooth flat road to Los Yébenes through the wide open Castilla-La Mancha: an extensive tableland at the centre of the Iberian peninsula. By now it was day five and after passing through Toledo, Madrid was in site. Bikes were once again permitted on the A-roads but entering the capital city was horrendous with a narrow hard shoulder and lorries thundering past at over 50 miles/hour literally 1.5m from the bike. With the real threat of being flattened I diverted to Getafe to search for a quieter route. And as luck would have it I met a local cyclist who offered to take me on the newly-built 9 mile cycleway to Madrid. Later that day I posted a big thank-you to George who certainly saved my bacon. The second tree planting was in an ONCE blind school kindly organised by Juan Pagola (Viverospagola). It was also great to stay with Juan and his family. The Gingko tree planting event was very intimate and held almost in silence. Small groups of blind children were led up to the tree so they could touch its trunk, then small branches and leaves. All the time they felt so gently with their fingers, experiencing a tree close-up for the first time. Imagine these children had never seen let alone touched a tree – it was a very emotional experience to be a part of. During the quiet assisted spade backfilling there was no place for a group tree discussion. Instead I spoke quietly in Spanish to the students one on one. Both Juan and I were close to tears.

Madrid to San Sebastian. Again leaving the capital was busy and horrendous. At one point had to cross over three exit-lanes with vehicles roaring past to join the main A-road leading out of the city. Heart pounding stuff. Thankfully quieter roads lead to Jadraque via a 1000m high-level plain with spectacular views of the Sierra de Guadarrama mountains. Sitting alone in the middle of nowhere with red kites circling overhead I thought “not yet you carrion feeders not yet!” By now I was doing an average of 80-100 miles/day with 9-10 hours in the saddle. On day eight descended a cloud-misted cork oak forest towards Agreda and stumbled across sheep in the road. An idyllic rural scene broken by loud barks from a huge mongrel St Bernard sheepdog. As it sprinted across the adjacent field I thought no-worries as there’s a fence. But gazelle-like the fence was vaulted and hard on my heels followed the sheepdog snarling loudly. At the last minute I looked away anticipating an ankle bite but with a bike spurt said dog gave up the chase. Phew! The road leading out of Agreda towards Pamplona was flat and open with not a tree or hedge in site. And how the north headwind blew for mile upon mile. Recall taking a petrol-station break thinking please give me a break. However, on reaching Pamplona and the start of the Basque Country (700m high) Azpiroz Mountains the wind dropped and even the steep long pedal-pumping climbs were welcomed. Arriving at Lizarza with 135 miles biked that day it was time to meet Juan Pagola once again for the San Sebastian tree planting this time organised by his colleague Juan Alvarez. This was a huge event with over 500 children from the Ikastola de Zubieta school matched by an 8m high silver birch. Was a little intimidating as over 300 kids surrounded me with the rest glued to the overlooking windows. Many wanted to shake my hand – felt like tree royalty. Despite feeling nervous to the core I was itching to give the tree workshop in Spanish which I did but was then asked to revert back at times so the students could hear English. A rope had been placed around the prostate tree and aided by several students it was hauled up into the tree pit – to voluminous cheers! Individual students then spoke about their tree values: this was becoming tearful especially after the huge gathering sang a tree song. Choked! Approx. 700 miles biked so far.

Russell Ball at a school during the 1,500 mile ride from Gibraltar to London
Russell Ball at Ikastola de Zubieta school in San Sebastian during the 1,500 mile ride from Gibraltar to London

Bayonne to La Rochelle. At times Spain had been mountainous and one large huge climb on the French border remained. On the top I paused a while looking back to San Sebastian in the distance thinking Spain done! Yes. From Bayonne the coastal road to Parentis en Born – along the Bay of Biscay – was flat and flanked with mile upon mile of pine woodland. Another headwind taunted me all day. But a 120 mile ride with an on-bike nosebleed saw me arrive in this sleepy pretty French village. Ride day 12 and it was time to crack-on north to Pointe de Grave avoiding Bordeaux by taking a short boat-trip, across the Gironde estuary, to Royan. By now the focus was on the ferry from Caen (Ouistreham) and destination Kew Gardens so I cranked out a 127 mile ride to reach Saujon: just south of Rochefort. The French roads were flatter with landscapes not dissimilar to southern  England and a pattern of countless small villages linked by dozens of roundabouts was emerging. Needless to say the mountainous panoramic views in Spain were now only a treasured memory. En route to La Roche-sur-Yon I passed through La Rochelle site of the first maiden dive (1864) by a mechanically powered submarine: “Plonguer”. I’d been told that France was flat but hills were now coming on a pace as I approached Nantes. Again entering the city close-quarter lorries thundered past: at times ‘elbow-to-elbow’. No place for a bike I thought but once in Nantes was impressed with the cycle network that any Dutch city would be proud of. Straight lines are always best and the plan was to head NW across country to Châteaubriant. Here was a posh hotel, one of few on the trip, and the night-lit “White” cathedral was stunning.

Nantes to Ouistreham. Next day leaving the town, dense fog reduced visibility to only 4m with my trusted friends: lorries looming out of nowhere. Being alone on a bike with only small LED lights was very unsettling. And to cap it all this was the start of the Suisse Normande: a rugged region resembling (as they say) the Swiss Alps with steep gorges carved by the river Orne and its tributaries. And so it began en route to Vire, with second on-bike nosebleed, nearly 100 miles of rollercoaster hills lined-up mile after mile. I’d conquered Spain and this punishing landscape was not going to beat me. But it and I had our moments that day. Feeling battered but relieved in Vire I ate my own bodyweight with fine French food! Awoke  following morning with thoughts of the ferry from Ouistreham to Portsmouth: homeward bound! The short trip to the ferry was flatter and passed through Caen with its Abbaye (abbey) aux Hommes founded by William the Conqueror in 11th century. Before the Portsmouth night crossing some quiet reflective time was spent biking along the coastline: focus of the 1944 allied Operation Overlord (D-Day) invasion of Normandy. Thankfully the Channel crossing was flat and I slept like a log.

Portsmouth to Kew Gardens: Just 80 miles remained but by now I’d had it with lorries so left the busy A3 to divert through the South Downs National Park. More hills though with a few more final hours of pedal pumping and was glad to see the River Thames in Shepperton. After my last night on this epic trip and on day 19 met with Mick Boddy (fellow F4T trustee) for the final 7 miles – past the famous Twickenham rugby stadium – to Kew Gardens. Planting a Melliodendron xylocarpum in the Dukes Garden with Kew staff including Richard Barley (Director of Horticulture) and Tony Hall (Arboretum & Gardens Manager) including Matt Biggs (garden writer and broadcaster) as a proud moment. Job done!

During this 1,500 mile solo unsupported F4T bike I’d had just one puncture, two on-bike nose bleeds, been chased by a snarling sheepdog and nearly wiped by a red deer, crossed mountains ranges, braved treacherous roads but was back in one-piece with determination and self-belief tested to the max. And yes, bought back a Gibraltarian ape toy (star of the Kew tree planting) as a fun gift for Tony Kirkham (fellow Arboretum & Gardens Manager).

Many thanks to Juan Alvarez, Tony Hall, Jon Hammerton and Juan Pagola and especially, Linda Harris (Kew Gardens) for organising and supplying the tree plantings. With special thanks to Rachel Judge (Eezytreev) and Darren Kilby (Gristwood & Toms) for their ride sponsorship.

Continue reading Gibraltar to London cycle promotes regular giving

Ready for the off

Charity Bike Ride London to Paris: Arboricultural entente cordiale

Charity Bike Ride London to Paris: Arboricultural entente cordiale

by Reg Harris

Many of you reading this will be familiar with the Fund4Trees (F4T) charity which Russell Ball founded, and it’s annual Ride for Research (RfR) cycling events. These events are for people who work in the arboricultural and forestry sectors and involve cycling a short tour, and en route visiting schools and communities to plant trees and raise awareness about their importance. The riders gain sponsorship for the event, and the money raised is used to support and advance research about trees and to also promote sustainable treescapes. To his credit, Russell has taken this a stage further, and has completed some solo journeys where he has cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats, and also to every capital city in the UK.

So, when Russell suggested that he wanted to ride to Paris, I thought it sounded like a brilliant opportunity to do something different, and just the excuse I needed to join the burgeoning crowd of MAMIL’s (middle-aged men in Lycra) that you see out everywhere on the roads these days.

The focus of this ride was slightly different to the others, and involved delivering a French translation of the ‘Trees in Hard Landscapes: A Guide to Delivery’ to the 99th French Mayors Congress in the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre in the west of Paris. This important document was initially published in 2014 by the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG). The document explores the practical challenges and solutions for integrating trees in the 21st century streets, civil spaces and car parks. Arguably these are some of the most challenging environments for trees to grow in, but areas that can derive the most benefits for their inclusion. The publication has received widespread endorsement from an unprecedented cross-disciplinary partnership in the UK, and quickly attracted attention from across the channel. As a result, VAL’HOR stepped in to sponsor the French translation. Delivering the document by hand and by bicycle from England, was therefore of great symbolic importance. Coupled with this for the whole journey, Russell transported a young Oak tree in his panniers, grown from the acorn of a 1000 year old tree from Windsor Great Park, which was gifted by the Crown Estate. Ted Green the founder of the Ancient Tree Forum, was kind enough to arrange this on behalf of the riders, and for also having the tree expertly propagated by Pete Wells, of Barcham Nurseries fame.

As there have been a number of RfR events in the past, Russell and the F4T Trustees were concerned that colleagues and friends who were asked to make regular donations to sponsor these RfR events, may gradually start to suffer from ‘charitable donation fatigue’. So this year, another aim of the ride was to promote Donate1Hour and Donate1Job. The idea behind this is to encourage employees to give the equivalent of an hour of their time per month (via PAYEE) to the charity, and for businesses to do something similar with an annual donation: equivalent to one job/project. It is hoped that this may be a more attractive and sustainable way for people to give and can be proportionate to their income.

As you can imagine, the ride started to attract a lot of interest and gained the attention of key people throughout the arboricultural and forestry industries. We were very lucky to gain the support of Lord Framlingham, who met the riders at the Houses of Parliament several weeks before the ride, to wish us well, and to also comment on what an effective collaboration it was by all those concerned (read more). Following this, and just 24 hours before the ride started , we were also privileged to gain the attention of the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn, who took time out of his busy schedule to have his photo taken with the Windsor Oak sapling and four of the riders. It seemed very fitting, that we were going to transport the document and tree from the hand of the Mayor of London, into the hand of a Parisian Mayor (with quite a bit of pedaling in between!) – read more.

Ready for the off
Fund4Trees London to Paris 2016: Ready for the off at the Houses of Parliament

Day 1 The six riders set out on the morning of May the 28th from the Houses of Parliament, in London. The riders represented key national arboricultural or forestry organisations. The team was made up of the following people:

  • Russell Ball (Consulting Arborist) Fund4Trees trustee
  • Mick Boddy (Registered Consultant -Symbiosis) Fund4Trees trustee
  • Rupert Bentley-Walls (Barcham Trees sales exec) Arboricultural Association
  • Gabriel Hemery (CE Sylva Foundation) Fund4Trees trustee
  • Martin Gammie (Arboricultural Consultant and co-author of the TDAG document) Institute of Chartered Foresters. Fund4Trees trustee
  • Reg Harris (Urban Forestry (BSE) Ltd) Ancient Tree Forum

Providing back up and driving a support vehicle was Robin Taylor, a keen cyclist from Suffolk. Barcham Nursery generously donated the supply of this vehicle. Other ride expenses were also generously covered by Plantco (France).

Fund4Trees - London to Paris 2016
Fund4Trees – London to Paris 2016: the special oak en route through London traffic

Our aim was to get to the coast at Newhaven in one day, to then catch the ferry to Dieppe the following morning. This ride was just short of 80 miles, and encompassed riding through several London Boroughs, and dodging the Bank Holiday traffic. We had gorgeous warm weather throughout the journey, and especially enjoyed the roller coaster ride through the Ashdown Forest. Mick Boddy and I managed to get broken up from the main group of riders, and decided to wait for them at a key strategic point. Ironically, we met several runners who were taking part in an ultramarathon (75 miles) whilst we were waiting, and were able to help them with directions. It wasn’t until we had waited for about half an hour that we realised we had taken a wrong turning, and we were the ones that were actually lost! We had to peddle frantically up several horrible hills, to meet the team in Lewes, who by this time were all supping coffee and gorging on cake. After a quick look round Lewes to see if we could find Keith Sacre (who lives there, and had been due to join the ride, but had to bow out due to injury at the last-minute), we then set off for Newhaven, where we stayed overnight and enjoyed a local pub.

Fund4Trees - London to Paris 2016
Fund4Trees – London to Paris 2016: a relaxing break in sunny England. Left to right: Reg Harris, Russell Ball, Gabriel Hemery, Mick Boddy, Rupert Bentley-Walls, Martin Gammie.

Day 2 The next morning before we left for France, there had been some concerns about port authority security searches and having to bail out the minibus packed with six bikes and loads of kit. But we had a document and tree to deliver and were on a mission. As we came to customs, the official asked us if we had anything to declare, at this point we took it upon ourselves to engage in some banter, which corresponded with him putting on some rubber gloves to undertake a search of the vehicle. The inevitable, ‘I hope you haven’t got cold hands’ comment came from the front seats, which luckily he found funny, and seemed to affect his concentration. Needless to say we were soon safely on our way and bolstered by this success, we celebrated with a hearty breakfast on the crossing  studying the route maps for the next leg of the journey, which Mick Boddy had expertly worked out for us.

The crossing took about 5 hours, and at Dieppe we were met Anne Jaluzot who was going to cycle the French leg of the journey with us. Anne lives and works in London and is a green infrastructure planning consultant, but is originally from this area of France. Anne was the lead researcher and writer of the TDAG document and was also responsible for translating it into French.

As we left Dieppe, we took a wrong turning and ended up climbing what felt like one of the foothills of the Alps! This was going to be harder than I imagined, and was going to be especially so for Rupert Bentley Walls, who was riding a fix wheel bike (single speed). Rupert had only agreed to take part in the ride a week or so before it began, and was nobly deputising for his work colleague- Keith Sacre. Not only was he riding a fix wheel but he also hadn’t done any training- ouch!

Fund4Trees - London to Paris 2016
Fund4Trees – London to Paris 2016: the Avenue Verte

We soon found our bearings, and started to ride through the countryside. We were able to use the ‘Avenue Verte’, which are traffic-free cycle paths, which follow the route of old railway lines. For those of us interested in pollarding, there was a lot of evidence of this style of cutting in the fields around the villages, primarily of ash and willow.  Very sadly, we saw a lot of evidence of Ash Die Back too, and quite large areas ash trees were being felled, and converted in neat stacks of firewood. I’m really obsessed with stacking wood, and these were the first stacks I had seen in France.  In my excitement to photograph this, I stopped quite suddenly as were descending another steep hill. I was very fortunate to narrowly escape having an imprint of the renowned author and Chief Executive of the Sylva Foundation, Gabriel Hemery on my back side, and who had been travelling at breakneck speed close to my back wheel, and hadn’t quite appreciated my geeky photographic desires. It was agreed that I would look over my shoulder in future, before stopping so quickly again.

After a break at a roadside café, where the virtuous drank coffee, and the rest of us drank 7% French lager, we completed the last leg of the ride, before our overnight stop at Forges-les-Eaux. Anne’s mother and neighbours met us a few miles before we got to this town, and one of them cycled with us, on a really lovely old French bike. Despite many of us struggling to converse in French, it was really nice to make these connections along the way.

One interesting observation we found, is a lot of France is shut on a Sunday (and also large parts of Monday too), so when we got to our accommodation at Forges-les-Eaux, the only place open to eat was the casino opposite! This did have a bit of a ‘Las Vegas in the rural French countryside’ feel about it, but in fact provided really good food.

Day 3 dawned, but little did we know what would be in store for us, as we set off for the last 80 mile ride we would do, before we got to Paris. The landscape really opened up here, and we decided to deviate away from the Avenue Verte and follow a roads through pretty little villages and towns. Our first stop proved very successful, and we ate patisseries and drank coffee before the next leg started. We agreed to meet Robin and the support vehicle about 40 miles away, at another café we had been told would be open. Apart from a few energy bars, and Martin Gammie’s endless supply of hard-boiled duck eggs, we were running low on food. Robin was given strict instructions to find some food and water on the way, and then meet us at the café for lunch.

Fund4Trees - London to Paris 2016
Fund4Trees – London to Paris 2016: another closed town

It was unfortunate, but because many people work on a Saturday in France and in lieu most places are shut on Sunday and Monday. So when we arrived at the next stop, Robin hadn’t been able to find any shops open, so there was no food, no water, and no café open…….this was very depressing. We ate more duck eggs, then got back in the saddle. Not long after this, it started to rain. At first, it rained lightly, for maybe an hour, but then it decided to chuck it down like a European monsoon for the next 3 hours.

During the long grind through the torrential rain, we did eventually find one café open where we manged to get a coffee and a shot of Calvados to warm up, but still no food. We then started to struggle to find our way and knew we had deviated from the official route when we found ourselves cycling through a tunnel under main road, which was normally only used for farm animals! Two punctures later, which Mick ‘Fingers of Steel’ Boddy, expertly fixed in record time, and after some clever navigation (keep the River Seine to your left and we’ll get there), plus Anne being able to ask for local directions in French, we got to our hotel. Boy, were we glad to see it! It’s a good job your skin is water proof, because everything else was completely and utterly drenched.

That night, we ate and drank like kings and queens, and even tee-total Rupert, had several beers.  After all, all we had to do the next morning was cycle about 25 miles into Paris…..

Day 4 it was still raining, really hard. We’d struggled to get our clothes dry overnight, and getting completely soaked again for the ride into the Mayors Convention, wasn’t holding a lot of appeal.

This ride proved to be quite dangerous at times, as the roads were so wet and it was rush hour. We managed to pick up two more punctures (which ‘Fingers of Steel’ fixed again at lightning speed), and two riders fell off as the conditions worsened. Eventually, after picking our way through the streets we got to the exhibition centre, a bit battered, pretty tired and a lot wet, but, as if by magic it stopped raining, and there was a dawning realisation across the group, that we’d finally made it.

Our French sponsor Plantco, met us at the front of the building, and after passing through security we walked through the exhibition centre, in our team cycling colours, and proudly carrying the Oak tree and TDAG document.

Fund4Trees - London to Paris 2016
Fund4Trees – London to Paris 2016: at the Mayors Convention in Paris, handing over the special oak and the TDAG report.

We were lavished on the VAL’DOR stand with a champagne reception and canapes, and then the Parisian Mayor (who was also the French deputy Environment Minister) said a few words, and officially accepted the French translation of the TDAG document and the Windsor Oak. This was a really special moment, and several of us felt a bit emotional (please don’t tell anyone that). The Parisian Mayor spent a good deal of time with us, and after a few more photographs, we had to head back to Dieppe in the van, to ensure we didn’t miss our ferry.

The ride proved to be a superb experience, despite the weather. No one moaned, no one fell out, and apart from the odd quiet moment when the rain was at its worst, we laughed and joked all the way round. Special mention must go to Anne, for her steely determination. She managed to navigate us through the streets of Paris, and cycle over a hundred miles on her Mum’s bike, with gears that didn’t work properly! She didn’t complain once about the weather, despite being utterly wet through for hours on end, and worse, had to put up with 6 middle-aged English men for two days- what a woman!

Fund4Trees - London to Paris 2016
Fund4Trees – London to Paris 2016: unbeatable bons amis

I would like to thank all of the sponsors who supported the ride, and to all of the people who generously sponsored me personally, donating nearly £3000 to my Just Giving page. An incredible amount- thank you.

For me, I think the words that Ted Green wrote in support of our trip is probably the most pertinent way I can sum up the experience and the sense of solidarity I felt on completing the ride with my new-found friends:

‘Trees know no boundaries, no creed, no class, no race, and are admired and cherished by society across all walks of life. Our oaks crossed from France after the last Ice Age and throughout time have bound our nation’s history. Indeed, the King Charles II brought many oaks from France to Windsor. It is with great pleasure therefore to carry on a great tradition and to return to France with a sapling grown from a seed from a 1,000 year old oak at Windsor.

 

 

Intrepid cyclist to visit four capital cities

After completing a successful Land’s End-John O’Groats bike ride last year (read more) Fund4Trees founder Russell Ball plans to cycle to four capital cities within the United Kingdom and Ireland planting trees in schools. The ride will start in London on 15th April, pass through Cardiff to Dublin and Belfast, then onto Edinburgh with the return to London on 1st May.

Speaking about the ride Russell said:

“It’s another huge challenge but I’m looking forward to meeting all the school children en route plus anyone who cares to join me on their bike”.

Cyclists are welcome on join Russell on any of his city tree-planting tours. If you are interested in joining him email him at russell@fund4trees.org.uk

Capital City dates:

  • Cardiff 17th April
  • Dublin 20th April
  • Belfast 22 April
  • Edinburgh 24 April
  • London 1st May

All ride costs will be sponsored by Gristwood & Toms and the trees supplied by Barcham.

The aim of the Capital Cities Ride: UK & Ireland is to raise the profile of Donate One Job and Donate One Hour. These two Fund4Trees initiatives encourage tree officers, consultants and contractors to provide a small annual charitable donation to this registered Charity. This core revenue will enable Fund4Trees to raise substantial funds to be directed at key arboricultural research and best practice.

See you soon for a short school tree-planting cycle tour in your capital city!

Please consider donating direct:

Donate to Fund4Trees with JustGiving

Two new ways to donate to Fund4Trees

We are pleased to announce the launch of two new ways that you can donate to support the charitable work of Fund4Trees.

  1. Donate One Job – make a one-off donation worth the value of a single contract
  2. Donate One Hour – regularly monthly giving via Payroll giving

To date we have relied on sponsorship raised from cycle rides to support our charitable work. Whilst this has been quite effective, we recognise that we need to reduce the burden on our current fundraisers – about 100 riders who have been amazing – and at the same time diversify our income streams. These new schemes do not replace our cycle events but will help us raise more substantial funds on a sustainable year-by-year basis.


Donate One Job

. . . is a new Fund4Trees initiative for employers and sole traders that enables you/your company to provide a charitable annual donation to research that will benefit you as practitioners of the arboricultural industry.

How it works

  • You/your company provide a charitable annual donation to Fund4Trees to support research that will benefit you as practitioners of the arboricultural industry.
  • The intention is that your donation would reflect the average income from one contract.
  • The donation would be proportionate to the size of your company and could be as little as £150 for sole traders.
  • For larger companies the annual donation could be more.
  • Making the donation is simple. Click on the link below:

Donate to Fund4Trees via Just Giving

Donate to Fund4Trees with JustGiving


Donate One Hour

. . .  is a new Fund4Trees initiative for arboricultural industry employees from both public and private sector that enables you to contribute regularly a small percentage of your salary via PAYEE as a charitable monthly donation.

For example, imagine if all the local government Tree Officers in the UK donated £5-10/month then Fund4Trees could support significant arboricultural/urban forestry research to benefit our industry.

How it works

Speak to your payroll section and via e.g. Charitable/Workplace Giving (see below) you could pay a small monthly contribution (equal to perhaps 1-2 hours/month) to Fund4Trees and as a charity we will receive an extra 40% from Government.

Links:


Our track record

Since 2011, Fund4Trees has provided sponsorship for:

  • A high-powered microscope for Forest Research to support investigations into Acute Oak Decline.
  • The TDAG publication: Trees in the Townscape: A Guide for Decision Makers.
  • A European Tree of the Year tour to raise public awareness.
  • We are currently assessing some promising applications concerning urban forestry benefits, best practice projects and pathogenic fungal research.

Trustee to cycle Lands End to John O’Groats

Russell Ball - Fund4Trees trustee
Russell Ball during a Ride for Research event

Fund4Trees trustee Russell Ball has announced he will be cycling from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise the profile of the charity and to raise funds for its work.

The 1,000 mile cycle trip will involve visiting 15 schools en route to present & discuss with about 4,500 school children – including hands-on tree planting – the vital environmental benefits that trees provide especially in urban areas.

His ride starts 9th September 2014.

Visit his fundraising page and please give if you can