Almost 600 trees are being planted in North East England, as part of a housing association’s environmental pledge.

To mark this year’s Earth Day, which was on Friday, April 22, 2022, believe housing is paying for a native tree to be planted on behalf of each of its 568 employees.

The trees will contribute to the development of the North East Community Forest and will be part of 6000 hectares of new forest planted in the region over the next 30 years.

This is just the latest green initiative by County Durham-based believe housing, which launched its first ever environmental pledge on Earth Day 2021.

The pledge makes a series of commitments to work with customers and ensure that everything the organisation does is geared towards a low-carbon future.

The commitments include supporting community environmental initiatives and projects to improve neighbourhoods, moving to low-carbon vehicles, working with customers to reduce fuel poverty while cutting emissions, and using sustainable or recycled materials wherever possible.

Nik Turner, Executive Director Communities & Customer Services at believe housing, said: “Since making our environmental pledge 12 months ago, we’ve taken some big steps towards reducing our impact on the planet and are constantly looking to do more.

“This year we’re celebrating Earth Day by planting a native tree for each of our employees, to increase canopy cover and carbon capture in our region.

“This will help to improve the natural environment, enhance biodiversity and create happier and healthier places for us all to live, work in and visit.

“We’ve also worked with Seascapes to organise a beach clean on Blast Beach in Seaham to remove rubbish and stop it harming the seas, beach and local environment.”

In another environmental initiative, staff from believe housing recently installed planters called BioCubes in Stanhope, West Auckland and Bishop Auckland to provide habitats for insects and small mammals such as hedgehogs.