Arsenal Forest: The Bore Lions

Sustainability Forest Bore Lions kit
The Bore Lions looking magnificent in their new kit outside the forest entrance

As part of the partnership between Arsenal and the tree planting community of Bore in Kenya, it was agreed that we would supply the local team, the Bore Lions FC, with some genuine Gunners kit, straight from the Emirates stores. 

In common with many local clubs in Africa, the Lions struggle to afford good kit and being close followers of the Premier League, they are really looking forward to showing off the new strip.

Ru Hartwell, Director of Carbon Link and responsible for organising the Arsenal Forest Project, was in charge of hand-delivering the kit.

Before travelling to Kenya he said, “I’m getting two or three WhatsApp messages every day from the players over there, asking when I’ll be arriving – I get the feeling they’re pretty keen!”

One of Bore Lions star players is Rodgers Jefwa, a midfield enforcer in the Patrick Vieira mould. And not only does Rodgers close down the opposition, he also tackles the Bore Singwaya School team, where he expertly coaches the youngsters in his spare time. 

Meanwhile, back at the nursery, the last of the neem seedlings have been taken to the loading site. Thankfully it is still raining heavily in Bore so the thousands of seedlings being planted now will be getting the best possible start. Trees grow very fast at the Equator so in a few weeks time they should look like the one pictured top left, and then once fully established, they’ll keep drawing down CO2 from the atmosphere, 12 hours a day, 365 days a year for the next 20 years or more.

For all the progress in the forest, there was great excitement when Ru arrived in Bore to deliver the Arsenal kit.

“Many of these guys have no work so getting decent shorts, shirts and boots is out of their reach,” he says. “We thought there would be no better place to hand it over than at the Arsenal Forest planting site.”

The club also sent over lots of extra training kit for the predominently women who work in the nursery and out at the planting site – and they’re already decked out in red and white too. 

When rumour got around Bore that the kit had arrived and the Lions were kitting themselves out in the famous red and white, quite a crowd of excited youngsters were in attendance. But the team certainly aren’t above getting their hands dirty – as you can see when they headed out into the fields to do a spot of weeding.

Of course, the main focus of the Arsenal Forest project remains the planting of 12,500 trees, which is well underway – and with those that fans have purchased too, we are now planting more than 15,000. During Ru’s trip to Bore, he also took a picture of a grove of five year-old neem trees, giving some idea of what our Forest will look like when the Gunners are playing in 2026/27!

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