Gripsure commits to tree planting partnership with Plant One Cornwall

Gripsure and Plant One Cornwall

Cornwall-based firm Gripsure, the UK’s leading creator of non-slip decking, has committed to planting hundreds of trees this year across the county in partnership with woodland creation organisation Plant One Cornwall.

The company, which manufactures anti-slip decking for homeowners and commercial customers in the UK and across the world, aims to create new habitats in Cornwall and re-establish woodland areas with the help of the not-for-profit community interest group, based in Helston. Gripsure is committed to planting one tree for every order that is placed with the company.

Cornwall has low levels of tree cover and one of the worst records in Europe, compared to other countries. The UK has an average of 13 percent of tree cover and Cornwall has only 9 percent, due to harsh weather conditions and historically high demand for wood in mining and shipping activities.

Rai Lewis, co-founder and managing director for Plant One Cornwall said: “Having the support of Gripsure is vitally important to the work that we do, it’s absolutely everything. If we didn’t have the backing of companies like Gripsure there is no way that we could plant more than 6,000 trees across Cornwall each year. The UK is in the bottom 12 of biodiverse wild spaces, so we really need to ‘up our game’, especially as we only sit above the most industrialised countries in Europe, such as Monaco. We plant trees because they have so many environmental benefits, we are trying to be a force of good.

Because Cornwall has such a tough climate, it’s more difficult for trees to establish themselves. Many people don’t realise that the county is meant to be covered in trees – we should have a temperate rainforest or upland oakwood habitat and that is what, together with Gripsure, we are trying hard to reinstate across Cornwall.

Gripsure has a long-standing commitment to environmental sustainability across all its business operations and was recently awarded ISO 9001 for quality management systems and ISO 14001 for environmental management.

Gripsure Managing Director, Mike Nicholson said: “This is not a token gesture or us jumping on the environmental bandwagon, we’re not just paying lip service – we are doing this for all the right reasons. We want to reduce our overall carbon emissions and we’re committed to striving towards the business becoming net zero carbon. We are continually looking at new and different ways to minimise our environmental impact across our activities, from working with sustainable FSC and PEFC certified timber to reducing waste. We aim to provide high-quality, environmentally sustainable products, and customer service.

With the help of Plant One Cornwall, we can get more trees in Cornish soil and work towards increasing the UK’s canopy cover. We are passionate about supporting and helping to create local habitats and nurture native wildlife. We are absolutely delighted to be involved with the positive work that they are doing and look forward to joining the team on their tree planting days later this year.

Gripsure and Plant One Cornwall are currently assessing several tree-planting sites in the county with the aim of getting new trees in the ground during the planting season between November this year and March 2023, dependent on weather conditions. The native trees, which will include Cornish and English Oak, Italian and Black Alder, as well as Wild Cherry and Willow, will be planted at a low density, mimicking already existing habitats enabling wildlife to thrive. These saplings or ‘whips’ have a higher resilience to climate change and absorb Co2 at a faster rate in the early stages of their growth.

Rai Lewis added: “We will really start to reap the benefits of these woodland areas in a short space of time. People will be able to walk under the boughs within ten years. The biggest and most immediate impact the trees are going to have is the valued resources they hold for wildlife. For example, an oak tree hosts 1,200 species of insects and birds for food and shelter and some flowering or pollinating trees will have an impact from two years of age.

Gripsure manufactures non-slip timber decking from its base in Cornwall and sells it to homeowners and commercial customers across the UK and internationally. Now one of the best-known decking brands in Europe, Gripsure has a French company and a manufacturing partner in Japan and is planning to establish its non-slip decking brand in 12 more countries. With a fast-growing consumer market, Gripsure has also supplied decking to high-profile customers, including Center Parcs, Edinburgh Zoo, the National Trust and Kew Gardens.