Belvoir Farm has worked with designers of the future from College of Communication, University of Arts, to design limited edition bottles that showcase the premium soft drinks company’s partnership with the Woodland Trust. The new designs, which put nature front and centre, will help raise awareness of UK biodiversity and woodland protection, and will be on supermarket and retailers’ shelves for consumers to enjoy from September.
Strengthening its conservation values and commitment to the countryside, Leicestershire-based Belvoir Farm announced its partnership with the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity earlier this year, which comes at a time when UK woodland and wildlife is under increasing threat.
The collaboration is supporting the protection of precious UK woodland for future generations and as part of the project, Belvoir Farm approached London College of Communication, University of Arts, (LCC) to create limited ‘Woodland Edition’ labels for its bottles that would capture the partnership and essence of both organisations. Working with the next generation of young designers, the brief was to design a label that would showcase nature and woodland in a fresh and innovative way, and that would also drive appeal of its drinks with a younger audience.
LCC worked with Belvoir Farm to create a brief that was offered to students as part of the Design School Professional Practice Unit.
“We were looking to engage and invest in the next generation of creatives to discover innovation and fresh creative thinking, so partnering with UAL was a terrific opportunity for both parties,” explains Belvoir Farm Director of Marketing Daniel Wheeler. “It was a fascinating process to see the designs develop. We all went on a journey together to see how our story could be told within these wonderful designs with very talented young designers.”
He continues “We share the Woodland Trust’s vision for a world where woods and trees thrive for people and nature, and we are delighted to be supporting the charity’s work in the protection and care of UK woodland.”
In celebration of the partnership, Belvoir Farm has created a woodland hub on its website – a space for its customers to learn more about woodland protection and how to support the work of the Woodland Trust. People can add their own local knowledge of ancient and veteran trees to the Woodland Trust’s Ancient Tree Inventory – the mapping of ancient woods and trees. So far over 180,000 trees have been recorded. There are thousands of old or ancient trees in the UK which, despite being important to our heritage and wildlife, do not get the protection they need. Mapping them helps the Woodland Trust monitor threats and conserve these living legends.
“Our students are the ethically conscious generation, driven to collaborate with organisations that hold a strong commitment to the environment and sustainability. This project provided a fantastic opportunity and experience for students to support a purpose-driven partnership, where they could harness their creativity to make a positive difference, and see their ideas brought to life in physical stores. The entire experience has been invaluable in building our students’ professional confidence and serves as a reminder of their potential to contribute to a more sustainable future.” comments Kat Wesley, Strategic Partnerships Manager at LCC.
Grace Howourth, Head of Youth Re-imagined at the Woodland Trust, adds “Working with Belvoir Farm and the students at University of Arts London has been such a brilliant experience for us. We know that young people really care about the issues that the Woodland Trust are trying to tackle, and so it is important to us that we include them in our work. We want young people to inform the work we do and this project has been a great way to do just that. Harnessing young creative talent to bring the conversation about protecting nature and UK woodland to the fore, is a key step to galvanising a new generation of climate and nature champions.”
Woodland cover decline
- The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe – only 13% compared to the European average of 37%.
- To help reach the UK government’s 2050 target to become carbon net zero – that’s removing as much carbon as we’re producing – we need more trees (and increase in the UK’s woodland cover to at least 19%).
- More than 1,000 irreplaceable ancient woods have been threatened by development over the last 10 years.
- Much of the woodland we have is in very poor condition. Wildlife-rich native woodlands are increasingly becoming fragmented and we continue to lose ancient woodland – our most ecologically valuable resource. Nature is paying the price – one third of all woodland wildlife species are in decline, and 1 in 10 woodland wildlife species are at risk of extinction.
Putting a value on trees
- Whilst the ultimate carbon capture and storage machines, trees do more than just capture carbon.
- They also fight the effects of a changing climate. They can cut outdoor and indoor pollution by 50%, help prevent flooding, reduce city temperature (by as much as 2 degrees) and keep soil nutrient rich. In the UK, the value of trees for flood protection is estimated to be £6.5 billion, and £6.1 billion for urban cooling. They can even increase the value of our homes.
- Moths, birds, bats, dormice, butterflies, fungi – they all depend on woods, trees and hedges to feed, breed and thrive. But with 53% of our woodland wildlife species in decline, and woodland butterflies in particular plummeting by 58% since 1990, the figures speak for themselves.
Health & wellbeing
- Woods and trees and access to green spaces can help us to feel physically healthier and improve our mental wellbeing. Nature alleviates stress, stabilises blood pressure and treats anxiety and depression.
- The number of people in the UK with easy access to woodland has declined since 2016 and 13% of people in the UK don’t have access to a garden, meaning woodland and green spaces are more essential than ever.