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NDA and NWS celebrate first planting of Cumbria Coastal Community Forest at Pelham House

Posted: 23/03/23

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Nuclear Waste Services Press Release: 17.3.2023

Today the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Nuclear Waste Services (NWS) picked up their shovels and hosted their first staff tree planting event in partnership with Cumbria Woodlands.

The event, held at Pelham House in Cumbria where NWS staff are based, provided an opportunity for employees to get involved in planting the county’s first Coastal Community Forest.

Volunteers ranged from senior leaders to graduates and apprentices, supported by the Forest Director and Woodland Creation Forrester at Cumbria Woodlands. In total over 720 trees will be planted on the site.

The tree planting at Pelham House is the first of several events the NDA group has planned this year, with more planting to be rolled out across its estate throughout 2023.

It comes following the announcement in December, of £200,000 of NDA funding for the Community Forest, contributing to a wider £1.1 million already received from Defra. The initiative will see thousands of new trees planted over the next 5 years, bringing people closer to nature, and creating corridors of woodlands enhancing biodiversity and providing resilience to climate change.

David Peattie, NDA CEO, said:

“It’s been fantastic bringing together people from across the NDA group, as well as members of Cumbria Woodlands, to get involved and play a part in establishing Cumbria’s first Community Forest.

It’s a great example of how we are delivering our decommissioning mission with care for the communities and the environment, investing money and resources in projects like this one which will benefit future generations for years to come.

We provide annual funding of £15 million across the UK to support socio-economic activities which leverages millions of pounds of further investment from partners, enabling permanent and sustainable change and a positive legacy once the decommissioning mission has ended.”

Martin Walkingshaw, Chief Operating Officer for Nuclear Waste Services, said:

“It’s lovely to see the new woodland area at Pelham House taking shape. This will enhance the area not only for our colleagues, but also our local community who use our grounds for dog walking and recreation.

Looking after our environment is a key priority for all of us at Nuclear Waste Services. This project highlights our ongoing commitment to meeting our sustainability objectives and protecting our natural resources. I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone involved.”

James Cobbold, Forest Director for Cumbria Woodlands, said:

“The support of the NDA is hugely important for the Cumbria Coastal Community Forest.

Through the creation of new woodlands in partnership with communities, the Community Forest provides a powerful way to build relationships with local people, organisations, and businesses to create sustainable change for the coast of Cumbria.

Having the NDA recognise the importance of the Community Forest is vital to its long-term success.”

Cumbria Coastal Community Forest is a partnership project between Cumbria Woodlands, and Cumbria County Council funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Trees for Climate fund.

This Community Forest is being led by Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Woodlands, and The National Trust, in close partnership with other local councils including Barrow Borough Council, Copeland Borough Council and Allerdale Borough Council. It is being supported by the NDA and a range of other organisations including Art Gene Authority and Britain’s Energy Coast.

The NDA is tasked with safely and securely decommissioning the nation’s oldest nuclear sites, removing the burden for future generations, with care for the communities and the environment.

In the last five years, over £75 million has been invested in community projects, attracting millions more into local and regional educational, skills and community initiatives.

Cumbria Woodlands are interested in hearing from landowners, community groups, and anyone with land that could be considered for woodland creation. The options for planting are flexible, can be done on a small scale and be complimentary to existing land use, be that farmland, community spaces, or within school grounds.

The Cumbria Coastal Community Forest can advise, for free, on how to get the best from trees. For more information visit the Cumbria Woodlands Website.