We planted 140 trees across some of our local communities this year to honour The Queen’s Green Canopy Project. This nationwide campaign was originally set up to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee and extended to mark The Queen’s passing.

Lindsey Williams, our Chief Executive, came up with the idea after reading about the scheme and realising how it aligned with Futures’ aims of giving back to the community and our ongoing sustainability journey.

We worked closely with customers, community groups and councils to work out the planting locations and bring the project to life in over 20 locations throughout the region.

Matt Waterfall, Chairman at Denby Parish Council said: "It’s great to see community areas being enhanced with tree planting. It not only benefits our environment for future generations, but also makes a positive impact on the visual aspect in communities."

We chose trees that were both typical for our region and best for the planet. They include Northamptonshire apple trees and English Oak trees, which are some of the most beneficial trees for wildlife and plants. Planting local species means we’re supporting local growing businesses and choosing fruit trees means both our customers and the community will be able to harvest from them in the future.

The project officially started on Futures in the Community Day in December, when colleagues planted trees in Ironville. We worked on an area next to a main bus stop in the village and planted trees, shrubs and other plants, as well as installing a bench made from 100% recyclable materials. Through a casual conversation with the parish warden who commented that the bus stop in front of our 70 for 70 planting area had nowhere for people to sit, we took action and identified a bench that fits with our sustainability focus due to it being made from 100% recycled UK plastic waste – it’s weatherproof, rot proof, environmentally friendly and actually made from bottle tops!

Lindsey said: “I’m thankful for all the support we’ve received from customers and organisations and of course colleagues for making this possible. The trees will be here for many years to come and hopefully in a few years’ time, the apple trees will be ready for people to start cooking.”