Community Woodland opens in Launceston!

In July our 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.

Our colleagues 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.

Our Depot Manager Sam Virgo-Brown at our 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."

Sam Virgo-Brown and his newborn daughter at the opening of the Pennygillam Community Woodland.
Sam Virgo-Brown and his newborn daughter at the opening of the Pennygillam Community Woodland.

Our 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 our 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.

The Pennygillam Community Woodland has been open a few weeks now and the response has been so overwhelming. It’s lovely to see people enjoying a great space in their community and it simply wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for DS Smith.

Sam Virgo-Brown
Depot Manager at DS Smith

"We can now start to focus on our biodiversity action plan, improving the biodiversity of the site, diversifying the range of habitats available while introducing new structures to promote the essential ecological processes that keep the ecosystem running!"

Biodiversity at DS Smith

By sourcing responsibly, managing our forests and operations sustainably, and working in partnership with our communities, we are reducing our impact on nature and encouraging biodiversity to thrive. We are achieving this through the targets in our Now & Next sustainability strategy, including a commitment to measuring and improving biodiversity in our own forests and implementing biodiversity programmes at each of our paper mills by 2025.