Community Woodland opens in Launceston

In July, DS Smith‘s Launceston logistics depot celebrated the completion of a major biodiversity project funded by the DS Smith Charitable Foundation, as the Pennygillam Community Woodland opened in Cornwall, UK.

Team members at Launceston have worked in partnership with the local council, charities, and community groups, to develop and manage the 12-acre woodland for the local community to enjoy and for native animals, plants, and insects to thrive in. The project – which was initiated three years ago – was one of the first biodiversity projects approved for funding by the Charitable Foundation.

Sam Virgo-Brown (pictured above), Depot Manager at the Launceston logistics site, explains, “For a brand-new project to have that kind of support meant a lot to me and the £1,000 donation from the DS Smith Charitable Foundation goes a long way for a small community group. The project was not always easy and  required a lot of planning, but on 16th May 2023 the lease was finalised and we took over the site – the same day my daughter was born! So now with a newborn (and a very understanding wife), me and the team carried out the work through June and July to get the site open in time for the summer holidays so that families in our community would have somewhere new to explore.”

Volunteers have been key in driving the project, helping to plan and implement the development of the site, which is located only a mile from DS Smith’s Launceston logistics site. With their help, the woodland was cleared to make it safe for the local community to use, creating footpaths and picnic areas. Plant species were introduced through the conservation and planting of wildflower-rich meadows. This also benefits bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects, while developing the woodland helps provide shelter to a range of wildlife including dormice, owls, and bats.

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