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Planting trees with Trees for Life

Update Dec 2019: Trees planted to date 549

Trees for Life is Scotland’s leading conservation volunteering charity. Founded in 1989, the vision is to restore Scotland’s ancient Caledonian Forest to the Scottish Highlands.

Trees for Life plant trees and restore wetland habitats on land which is intended for permanent forest restoration. Planting sites include Corrimony RSPB Reserve, Glen Affric National Nature Reserve, and land owned by Forestry Commission Scotland and National Trust for Scotland. In 2008, they purchased Dundreggan, an area of 10,000 acres of wild land near Loch Ness, to expand the forest restoration work. Almost all tree planting is carried out by volunteers, connecting people with Scotland’s nature whilst helping to ensure its future conservation.

The Sussex Promotions Grove

In 2007, Sussex Promotions started a Corporate Grove with Trees for Life, funding a total of 178 trees. The trees for the grove were planted by conservation volunteers at the Corrimony RSPB Reserve near Glen Affric. The grove comprises of native species, mainly Scots pine and birch with a mix of eared willow, alder and rowan, planted in natural distribution patterns. Once they reach seed-bearing age, natural regeneration will expand these trees into rich and diverse woodland which offers maximum benefits for biodiversity.

Progress at Corrimony

Corrimony was acquired by the RSPB to restore native Caledonian pinewood habitats to benefit rare birds, particularly black grouse, It consists of an upland site of 3,828 acres situated just over 20 miles south-west of Inverness. The reserve lies close to the Glen Affric National Nature Reserve and Dundreggan Estate. There are a number of habitats on the reserve including bog, heath, semi-natural birchwood and plantation woodland.

The intention of the management plan is to return around half of the reserve to native pinewood through a combination of active tree planting and natural regeneration, and to restore wetlands. Since forests and wetlands are both important carbon sinks, this conservation work will help to have a positive impact on climate change.

Since 1999, Trees for Life has worked in partnership with the RSPB to plant over 100,000 trees at Corrimony, including the Sussex Promotions Grove. Other conservation work has included removing non-native species and restoring the reserves mires and bog pools. As a result of expanded and improved habitat, the number of male black grouse has increased from 16 to 53. Surveys are also being carried out at Corrimony by Forest Research to monitor the effectiveness of the reserve for woodland carbon sequestration.

Why this conservation work is so important

The ancient Caledonian Forest once covered 3.7 million acres of the Highlands. It was Scotland’s equivalent of the rainforest, but has been reduced to just a tiny fraction of its former range. Most of the surviving forests now consist of old trees reaching the end of their lifespan, with no new trees replacing them because of grazing pressure from deer and sheep. As a result, many forest-dependent species are at risk of extinction in the UK.

Trees for Life plants trees in a target area of 1,000 square miles of mountains and glens to the west of Inverness. This work helps to expand and link native Caledonian pinewoods, creating a balanced healthy ecosystem where wildlife can roam freely again.

Planting trees and restoring wetlands makes a valuable contribution towards addressing the issue of global warming and gives our natural world the chance to adapt to climate change.

Trees for Life planted its one millionth tree in May 2012 and is now heading to 2 Million.


Fad, fashion? Why the silicone wristband could be right for you!

The Silicone Wristband, they’re as much a fashion accessory as a marketing tool, a cost-effective and savvy way of raising your brand awareness. Durable, highly customisable and easy to distribute, a high-quality silicone wristband puts your logo and brand name directly around your recipient’s wrist.

It started with Lance

Back in 2004, the now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and his Nike sponsors developed the Livestrong campaign, a support organisation for those battling with cancer as Armstrong himself had so successfully done. As he entered the 2004 Tour, aiming for a record-breaking sixth win, he was seen sporting a yellow band around his wrist.

Harnessing the power and visibility of the iconic yellow jersey was a smart move. Soon the roadsides of France were filled with eager spectators all wearing their yellow silicone wristbands supporting the Livestrong cause.

An astonishing 87 million bands were sold (some changing hands on eBay for vastly inflated prices), kickstarting a craze that has continued to the present day.

Pink Unity bands for breast cancer awareness. Turquoise and mustard bands for Movember. Sport Relief and Help for Heroes are two of the high-profile UK charities who receive much-needed donations from the sale of silicone bands.

And though it’s unlikely that a silicone band will ever capture the zeitgeist again like the Livestrong band, these rubber bracelets can still be a worthwhile investment as part of your marketing strategy for the right charity, brand or cause.

Fad or here to stay?

There’s no doubt that the silicone wristband no longer commands quite the impact that it did back in the days of Livestrong. But wristbands & bracelets are a growth fashion accessory, just as festival bracelets are worn with pride. For the right charity, brand, cause or movement the wristband still has massive potential.

In the same way that custom pens and keyrings are no mere fads, the silicone bracelet is here to stay.

The power of mobile marketing

The silicone wristband is something of a double whammy in marketing terms. Let’s say one of your employees is undertaking a charity event: in this case, selling silicone wristbands with an appropriate slogan plus your company logo will tap into the same feelgood factor that drove the popularity of Livestrong bands. After all, who can resist showing off their charity giving?

On the other hand, a well-designed, high-quality silicone wristband will make a great promotional freebie, as many people simply won’t be able to resist showing off something fun and attractive that they got for free. Putting your company name and logo on your customer’s wrist is a smart twist on word of mouth and mobile marketing, with phenomenally cheap costs per impression to add to their appeal.

Make a mark with Silicone Wristband

As with any promotional product, buy the best quality you can afford. Even buying top of the range bands is not expensive, and they’ll repay you with longevity. A broken or faded wristband is of no use to anyone. Another tip is to order de-embossed bands. Not only is the carved effect more sophisticated than printing, the messaging will last as long as the band does.

Now you’ll need to match your brand colours for recognition and consistency. Customisation is something that silicone wristbands do extremely well, with a huge range of colours and effects. Single colours may be on brand but mixing two colours and creating a marble effect look great. Such marbled patterns also mean no two bands are identical. Depending on the target audience this extra zing or colour and individuality may just help.

Next you need to get your messaging right, which is surprisingly crucial for your promotional bands. Obviously your logo and company name need to be on there, but don’t be tempted to leave it there because this is where you have the opportunity to really deepen your wristbands’ impact.

Maximum Exposure

Consider timing your wristband release to coincide with an online campaign and add your hashtag. The point is, the more value you can add to your marketing messages, the more effective your wristbands will be.

Finally you need to think about distribution channels for your bands. Giving them away – at conferences and trade shows, in your retail premises, at reception – are all quick and easy ways to get them onto people’s wrists.

But why not also tuck a few in with an order or your next direct mailer? Your customers will appreciate the extra little gift and return the favour by giving you free publicity.

Hold a social media competition with wristbands as a reward for participation and tuck a few in with the big ticket main item. Another great way to encourage your customers to wear your wristbands is to offer a discount whenever they shop with you wearing your band. The word will soon get out and all your customers will want one!

Silicone Wristband, a unique product

Silicone wristbands are perhaps unique among promotional products in that they don’t really serve a useful purpose. You can’t play with them like a frisbee or charge your phone from one of them. But what silicone wristbands offer is a cross generational appeal that few other products can match, except perhaps the promotional pen. A desirable fashion accessory for the young and a way to demonstrate your support for a company or cause without seeming over the top, with a proven global appeal, the silicone wristband covers a lot of bases.

If you stay true to your brand values and create the right band for your customer base, high quality silicone rubber wristbands are a powerful and enduring marketing tool. This modern marketing method is an easy introduction to promotional products, offering an exciting and unique platform for your marketing ideas through the medium of a much-loved and highly recognisable promotional item.