AF&RS branch out with tree planting

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has teamed up with a local school and tree planting project to help offset its carbon emissions and improve staff wellbeing.
Partnering with One Tree Per Child and Year 4 children from Callicroft Primary Academy, AF&RS have allocated a 40-metre long strip of land at Patchway fire station for students to plant a selection of new trees.
The trees will be grown as a thick hedgerow, providing a habitat for insects, pollinators and wildlife, improving the look of the station and filtering out pollutants from passing vehicles.
Fruit trees will also be planted in Patchway fire station’s wellbeing space.
Once fully grown, the hedgerow and fruit trees will help contribute to AF&RS’ environmental net zero carbon targets by absorbing the same amount of carbon emissions as a car travelling 250 miles each year.
AF&RS has been making big strides towards becoming carbon neutral and has already introduced electric vehicles to its fleet, switched to 100% renewable energy and cut 57% of its carbon emissions since 2009.
Planting more trees with local partners and schools will help the Service reach net zero and gives a great opportunity for community work promoting fire safety.
Annabel Harford, Environmental Manager for AF&RS, said: “It is always a pleasure to be able to improve our sites with projects like this one, especially on our more urban stations.
“Just like any other organisation, we have a duty to do what we can to reduce our carbon impact, and this project not only allows for us to contribute to that but also engage with young people in the area with a positive message.
“It also allows us to provide a more holistic and inviting working environment for our staff, which in turn increases mental health resilience – making our Service Stronger and Communities Safer.
“We would like to thank One Tree Per Child and Callicroft Primary School for working with us on this project and hope this small act helps play a role in a much bigger project.”
Since 2014, One Tree Per Child has helped plant 57,000 trees across Bristol and is aiming to plant 6,000 more every year.
The project currently works with schools across the region and wants every child to plant one tree as part of their primary school activity.
Holly Paton, from One Tree Per Child, said: “We are really excited to be planting in partnership with Patchway fire station to help improve their crucial wellbeing space and to work with local children in such an unusual location.”
Ian Oake, Deputy Headteacher for Callicroft Primary Academy, added: “Our children have been learning all about the environment as part of their Flora and Fauna project and, as a school, we are always excited by the opportunity to contribute positively to the local community.”