Northumberland Estates offers free trees to 500 Alnwick Castle visitors
Some 500 visitors to Alnwick Castle were offered a free tree to take home and plant as a part of a Northumberland Estates initiative to raise awareness of environmental issues.
An exhibition showcasing the environmental work of Northumberland Estates and its partners was also held in the castle’s Guest Hall during Environment Awareness Week.
Among the projects highlighted was an ambitious tree planting scheme which will see over half a million trees planted on farmland south of Alnwick.
This is part of a longer-term tree planting forestry initiative which aims to see between six and seven million trees planted on Estate land over the next few years. The first phase at Snipe House Farm started last year.
A number of local outside exhibitors were also invited to participate including Coast Care and the Alnwick Bee Keepers Association.
The Country Trust also held a number of workshops for schools designed to raise awareness of environmental issues.
Meanwhile, Northumberland Estates’ staff also participated in daily challenges such as a meat free day and a cycle to work day.
In the town itself the Estate organised and sponsored a shop window display competition for independent retailers and charity shops. Themed around environmental issues, the competition was judged by Mayor Lynda Wearn with first prize going to the RSPCA charity shop for a display which graphically highlighted the negative impact of various rubbish types on wildlife.
Vanessa Proudlock, community engagement and education officer for Northumberland Estates, said: “This is the first time Northumberland Estates has actively participated in Environmental Awareness Week on such a scale and the response from both visitors and staff was so enthusiastic we will definitely be looking to do something next time.”
She added: "There are a huge number of environmental initiatives taking place across the Estate from renewable energy schemes to tree planting and from river health improvements to wildlife conservation and recycling, sourcing environmentally friendly products, measures to improve the insulation of Estate owned properties and educational initiatives with schools.
"This week provided an ideal opportunity to take stock of some of these and help us to move forwards in a positive manner.”