Volunteers from the Islamic Unity Society join locals to plant 7,000 trees in Heartwood Forest
Young Muslims volunteered their Saturday helping a local project planting tens of thousands of trees in Hertfordshire on March 15.
More than 35 volunteers from the Islamic Unity Society (IUS) joined in with volunteers from the local area to plant approximately 7,000 sapling trees at Heartwood Forest, located three miles north of St Albans in Hertfordshire.
The public event was organised by the Woodlands Trust, a national charity that aims to create new native woodland and preserve existing ancient woods.
Woodland Trust Site Manager, Louise Neicho, told The Muslim News: “It was great to see members of the Islamic Unity Society helping plant such a huge number of trees at Heartwood Forest, their help really was invaluable. I hope everyone that turned up found the day rewarding and we all look forward to seeing them return in the winter too!”
“It’s really important for us as young British Muslims to contribute to our society and the environment around us as this is an integral part of our faith,” said Fatima Jichi, volunteer coordinator and Chair of IUS London.
“Planting trees is a very simple act to care for the environment in the UK and one of the underlying aims of the IUS is to encourage Muslims to give back to society. The weather was great and it was a nice day out for our members too. We hope to be involved again in future.”
The 347 hectare site near St Albans, Hertfordshire, is planned to be transformed from bare land at present into the largest continuously native forest in England, complete with a diverse range of wildlife and towering trees. Over 425,000 have already been planted on the site in the last five years by volunteers, with monitoring surveys suggesting the new trees are already having a positive impact on wildlife.
“The tree planting day was a rewarding and good way to spend a Saturday,” Bulent Kazim, first time tree planter and Environmental project manager at Sufra Food Bank North West London told The Muslim News. “It was great to see young and old people across the community chipping in together.”
Maryam Hilli, one of the volunteers, said, “It was an amazing experience. It is something simple but with valuable life lessons to take away, a beautiful way to give back to the world.”
The tree planting season in the UK runs from October/November to March. The Woodlands Trust will be organizing further public events from October 2014.