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Manx Gas at tree planting

Tree planting tonic for businesses and charity

Connecting people with nature was the aim of an event jointly organised by a UNESCO Biosphere Partner and a long-established charity.

Stewart and Barbara Clague, son Alan and grandson Tom hosted a tree planting experience at Ballannette Park – a stunning nature reserve they created in memory of their daughter, Annette.

The reserve is home to family business Stewart Clague Services, a UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man partner and a 2019 Biosphere Award winner.

The event involved 100 participants from 12 Island companies – fellow Biosphere Partners Manx Gas, PDMS and Zurich International, as well as Barclays, Canaccord Genuity, Conister Bank, Crowe IOM, KPMG, Lloyds Bank, Panacea, Simcocks and Sovereign.

The companies donated funds to Isle Listen, a positive mental health project for young people developed by the team at MCH Psychological Services.

SCS supplied the trees free of charge and arranged for renowned conservationist Professor Peter Bridgewater, a former global director of the UNESCO Biosphere project, to speak to the tree planters before they got their boots muddy in the glorious surroundings.

Professor Bridgewater gave a fascinating insight into his work and said that as well as benefiting a charity, planting the trees would assist the environment through drawing down carbon dioxide.

He said planting different species of trees added variety to the landscape, meaning animals had new opportunities to live and breed.

Andrea Chambers, CEO of MCH Psychological Services, said: 'We were delighted to be involved with this wonderful event and listening to Professor Bridgewater was a reminder that the environment needs to be cared for in much the same way as our mental health.

'Planting new trees helps the world to cope with our changing environment but each type of tree needs to be planted in the right place and nurtured in order to make it flourish and be resilient. This enables it to grow strong and play its small but vital part in supporting the climate and our future.

'The work that we are doing at Isle Listen is similar in that we are supporting young people to support their emotional wellbeing in a way that will make them resilient enough to flourish despite the pressures of our ever-changing world.'

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