The partnership will highlight the many benefits of tree planting and how it can help to tackle climate change. Trees have always been a catalyst for change in the National Forest with over 9 million planted in the last 30 years. With the aim to reach a third of the land area as forest they need the public’s support more than ever.
To celebrate the partnership, a 1.5m tall Shaun the Sheep sculpture will be in attendance as a native oak tree is planted at Minorca Woods, the youngest woodland in the National Forest. This new woodland was made possible with funding from the government’s Nature for Climate Fund, which enables more trees to be planted, the creation of more green and wooded spaces for people to enjoy, and new wildlife habitats.
John Everitt, chief executive of the National Forest Company said: “We’re delighted to partner with such a creative and inspiring brand as Aardman, as we work towards our 10 millionth tree milestone. We hope this collaboration with Shaun the Sheep will inspire people to support our tree planting initiative, helping mitigate and adapt to a changing climate as well as benefitting biodiversity and communities for years to come.”
Lucy Wendover, Marketing Director at Aardman, said: “It’s so exciting to be working with the National Forest again. We really believe that Shaun the Sheep and the National Forest partnership will be successful in encouraging people and communities to explore and grow the natural world. The environment and sustainability are priorities for Aardman as an employee-owned studio and with Shaun’s unique blend of mischievousness and fun, we are positive that this partnership will engage and educate kids and families on the importance of biodiversity and supporting a more sustainable future.”
Forestry Minister Trudy Harrison said: “It is so important that children learn about the importance of trees at an early age, so Aardman’s cast of endearing characters are the perfect mascots for this new campaign to get everyone of all ages involved in tree planting. I hope Shaun the Sheep and Stash the Red Squirrel will inspire the next generation of foresters and encourage people to get outside into nature and plant a tree, as the National Forest Company works towards their triumphant 10 millionth tree milestone. This will support Government ambitions to treble tree planting rates by 2024 and achieve net zero.”