Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, in collaboration with Equans and Consort Healthcare, marked National Tree Week in grand style by planting 1,000 trees at one of its hospital sites.

National Tree Week, observed from 25 November to 3 December, stands as the UK’s most extensive annual celebration dedicated to trees, with thousands planted to inaugurate the tree planting season.

Equans generously donated the trees to MY Hospitals Charity, the charitable arm of Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust. An additional 500 trees were contributed by Equans to support other planned winter planting initiatives.

Approximately 40 volunteers from all three organizations, including Executive Team and Board Members, courageously tackled wintry conditions to plant the trees over two days. The tasks included pre-planting rotavating, trench digging, sapling planting, and mulch laying.

Keith Ramsay, Chairman of Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, said: “It is amazing to see the combined effort of Equans and Consort Healthcare for this amazing donation to Pinderfields Hospital for National Tree Week. This will not only provide an essential home for numerous animals, but it will also allow sustainability advantages by absorbing carbon and helping to counteract air pollution. Thank you to everyone involved.”

Phillip Marshall, Director of Workforce and Organisational Development at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, added: “This was a fantastic initiative to be involved with and I could see first-hand how much time and effort had gone into the arrangements to make this the success it has been. It was inspiring to see the close partnership working come to fruition and it would not have been possible without all the work performed by the volunteers and the generous donation of the trees. Thank you to everyone involved – it was a couple of days to be proud of!”

A mix of native broadleaf species were planted in the helipad field at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. The diverse bare root sapling mix was made up of Field Maple, Hornbeam, Common Hazel, Dogwood, European Spindle and Guelder Rose.

Peter Leighton-Jones, Head of Sustainability at Mid Yorkshire Teaching NHS Trust, commented: “This is a wonderful example of positive partnership working, which will leave a lasting legacy in the local area, whilst also benefitting nature and the general environment for many years to come. On the eve of COP28, the Trust and its partners have shown their commitment to helping to tackle the challenges our planet faces and this tree planting scheme perfectly exemplifies our collective ambition.”

In early 2024, Mid Yorkshire will also be planting a further 4,000 trees, which have been gifted by NHS Forest. The trees will form a new boundary hedgerow around the Pinderfields fence line.

Bryony Wellman, Deputy Managing Director at Consort Healthcare (Mid Yorkshire) Limited, said: “It was great to see all parties working closely together during National Tree Week. A brilliant couple of days, supporting and improving the biodiversity at Pinderfields.”

Martin Bishop, Senior Electrical Technical Services Manager at Equans, stated: “Equans were delighted to take part in National Tree Week with our stakeholders. Despite the challenging weather conditions, the team absolutely loved the tree planting aimed at making a lasting difference in the communities in which we operate such as Pinderfields.”