Tree planting at Clervaux TrustPublished: 21 April 2022

Dozens of volunteers from Darlington Building Society braved freezing winds and hail to plant hundreds of trees for charity.

More than 40 members of staff visited the Clervaux Trust. The charity provides care and opportunities for young adults with complex learning and behavioural issues.

The volunteers planted more than 1,500 trees at the charity’s farm at Croft-on-Tees, near Darlington.

For every Darlington Building Society Green Regular Saver Account that’s opened, the Society plants a tree in its heartland and another in Africa. This helps contribute to its climate change approach and the country’s net zero target.

Chief risk officer, David Bews, who is leading the Society’s climate change strategy, said: “We have a real focus on climate change at Darlington Building Society. From how we support members and colleagues to live a greener life, to how we minimise the Society’s carbon footprint.

Greener futures

“The work we do in our communities, like being here at the Clervaux Trust, is a huge part of that. It’s absolutely fantastic to be here. I spend quite a bit of time in the office, but I’m from Northumberland and I’m a country lad at heart. It’s lovely to be outside and doing this. We might get a bit wet, but that’s not going to stop us!”

Josh Palin, mortgage product manager at the Society, added: “The Green Regular Saver account in its early stages. But we hope that as more accounts are opened, we can invite members to help plant their own trees, should they want to.”

The trees planted by Society volunteers are expected to stand at the site for around 150 years. After this point, they’ll be fully mature and ready for felling.

Catriona Clark, assistant grower for the Clervaux Trust, said: “We’ve been wanting to increase the numbers of trees on the land for a while, so this has been wonderful.

“Darlington Building Society has very kindly bought the trees for us, and sent many volunteers to help get them planted. It’s important to involve local businesses, because it helps the local community learn about the Trust and what we do.”

Darlington Building Society annually donates 5% of its profits to good causes. Recently the Society donated over £15,000 to the Clervaux Trust to fund a shepherd’s hut classroom.

To learn more about the Society’s community work, please visit our community page.

To learn more about the Clearvaux Trust, please visit their website.