DMU to plant 1,000 National Forest trees for new students

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is to plant 1,000 new trees in the National Forest on behalf of students joining this year.

To mark the release of A-level results across the country this week and to celebrate the arrival of a new cohort of students next month, the university is planting hundreds of saplings in the heart of the UK.

 

As a commitment to making a positive environmental impact, these trees will be planted on the site of the National Forest, a 200 square mile environmental project in the central England, which stretches from the outskirts of Leicester to Burton-Upon-Trent, in East Staffordshire.  

Ashton Matthews, Drama graduate, said she felt the project was a way for students to create a lasting legacy in the community.

She said: “University is about growth. Over the last few years I’ve been studying at DMU I think it’s really unbelievable how much I’ve changed. This project really symbolises that growth.

“I also think it’s a really good way of getting a new generation to really engage with their environment and think about their sustainability.”

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This week the university will also be sending a ‘grow pack’ out to all new students joining in September, which features a plant pot, dried soil and seeds to engage a new generation in engaging with sustainable ways of living.

Studies have shown that in one year, 1,000 trees can produce enough oxygen for around 4,000 people and absorb about 48,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air we breathe.

A recent analysis by Swiss university ETH Zurich found that tree planting was “overwhelmingly more powerful than all other climate change solutions proposed.”

Karl Letten, environmental and sustainability officer at DMU, said: “We’ve made some really exciting progress and measures in terms of embedding sustainability within the campus and what we teach our students.

“But with this project we are extending that, going into the wider community to offer a real, physical benefit. By planting these trees we can help to absorb carbon and reduce climate change.

Habeeb Otukoya, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science student, recently visited the National Forest to see the planting site for the new trees.

He said: “The future of the environment is everybody’s responsibility. I grew up in Peckham, in South London, with loads of buildings, houses, buses, so the air is pretty polluted.

“So coming out here into the open air is so much fresher, you feel it right away.”

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DMU is committed to supporting the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals – global aims which address problems like climate change, poverty and equality.

The planting will be carried out by National Forest experts during the planting season, which runs from October to March.

Students will have the opportunity to visit the site, learn about the forest and its development and about the planting process.

Meanwhile, the university will work to develop a partnership with the National Forest Company to create research and volunteering opportunities across the area.

Carol Rowntree Jones, media relations officer at the National Forest, said: “We’re looking forward to working with many more young people through DMU and showing them the amazing opportunity right on the doorstep of the university.”

Posted on: Friday 23 August 2019

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