Park Plaza pitch in to revitalise Wildlife Trust project hit by vandals

Staff from Nottingham’s Park Plaza Hotel have come to the rescue at a Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s largest nature reserve after vandals destroyed a number of Cricket Bat Willow trees planted to help generate income for the charity’s conservation work.

In January last year vandals snapped a number of specially chosen willow trees at Idle Valley Nature Reserve near Retford which had been planted with a view to them being turned into cricket bats. The tree planting project in spring 2016 had been funded by Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts’ through its “Save Tomorrow’s Trees Today” Corporate Social Responsibility initiative.

When the company heard about the vandalism they immediately agreed to fund replacement trees but it was too late in the season to replant them. Now, thanks to the company’s generosity and their staff’s efforts, the trees have been replanted in a less accessible location.

Reserve Manager Graham Bowden - right - with staff from Park Plaza

Speaking about the support Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Communications Erin McDaid said: “Having been part of the team that secure the backing of Park Plaza Hotels and Resorts for this project and having personally supervised the original planting I was devastated when many of the trees were vandalised. The company showed real vision and commitment in helping us invest in the future of the reserve and it was a huge relief when they immediately agreed to fund the replacement trees.”

Staff from the City Centre Hotel assisted the Trust’s Northern Reserve Officer Graham Bowden with the replanting of the specially grown and selected trees the at Idle Valley Nature Reserve earlier this month and it is now hoped that they will grow into a valuable crop.

Erin continued:

As a charity it is important for us to look for ways to generate income to invest in our work and we were delighted that Park Plaza saw the benefit of this exciting project. Whilst it’s a shame that we’ve not been able to replant the trees sooner it’s great that thanks to the company’s support we’re now back on track.

Speaking on behalf of Park Plaza Hotels and Resorts Robert Watts, General Manager said:

“It’s been a pleasure to work with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust over the past few years and to see the continuous hard work they put in to the local nature reserves. The team here at Park Plaza Nottingham always enjoy the day out volunteering and I’m pleased our efforts in planting the Willow trees will have such an impact on the charity’s conservation work in the local community.”

For more information about Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Corporate Supporter scheme, visit www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org/corporate-support/ or ask for Holly McCain on 0115 958 8242.

Staff from Park Plaza get to grips with the replacement willow trees