Landscape supplier Green-tech frequently donates products for worthy causes, so when Grandmother Janet WIlloner contacted the team to ask for their help with her ambitious plan, they were happy to provide compost, grit, and fertiliser.
Janet explains. “In September 2019 my grandchildren who live in Scotland were heavily involved in the 'School Strikes for Climate' movement.
“They were extremely well informed on all aspects of climate change and were prepared to stand outside the Scottish parliament in all weathers, miss school and then make up their lessons in their own time.
“I was impressed with their commitment and felt ashamed that I was living through these times and had done nothing about climate change. But what could I do? Joining a demonstration and waving a placard wasn’t my thing so I considered helping by planting trees. Then I remembered I wasn’t 21 anymore and planting trees would be too strenuous. I was about to give up when the idea came.
“If you can’t plant trees, then grow them from seed! We need a lot more trees and locally grown trees are much better adapted to our climate than those shipped from abroad. The idea suited me because I have green fingers and love growing all sorts of plants. I enjoy foraging, so collecting the seeds would be a pleasure and I would be doing a bit to help and enjoying myself at the same time!
“So, I hatched a plan to grow and nurture 5000 trees ready for planting before I reached age 85!
“I had no idea where these trees were going to be planted - I certainly did not have the land. However, I decided to worry about that later and get on with the job of collecting all the acorns, sweet chestnuts, hazelnuts, and berries that I could find.
“I had no detailed knowledge on how to treat them, but quickly learnt which seeds need time in the airing cupboard or the fridge and which can be stored moist or dry. When March came, I was delighted to see little green shoots come up! I had 400 seedlings.”
Janet discovered ‘Make it Wild’ which is run by Chris and Helen Neave who own land and are creating a wild nature reserve in rural Nidderdale. They took 300 of Janet’s saplings and the remaining 100 went to the Longlands Common tree nursery.
During 2021 Janet has raised in the region of 800 seedlings and those large enough, will be planted out this November.
She continues, “Several of my friends help by collecting their empty juice and milk cartons which I use as plant pots. I’m also extremely grateful to Green-tech who are sponsoring me and providing compost, grit and fertiliser. This is a massive help which will enable me to continue growing trees to benefit future generations and mitigate the effects of climate change.”
Green-tech has agreed that they will deliver the necessary supplies as and when Janet needs them. She needs regular small deliveries that she can store easily.
Janet adds, “I have had a recent delivery from Green-tech. All my goods were stacked by very capable hands, for which I am grateful. This generous gift will enable me to produce another batch of several hundred saplings. They will eventually be planted in the Northern Forest, hopefully helping to mitigate the effects of climate change and be a source of joy for future generations. It also means that I'm not worrying about how I can finance the project and I can just get on with growing trees!”
Marketing Director Kate Humes concludes, “Janet is a remarkable woman and an inspiration to us all. I am delighted to be able to donate professional grade compost, grit and fertiliser to help with her personal quest, which will benefit generations to come. It’s amazing to see what one determined lady has achieved.”
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