Arsenal Forest: End of season report

Sustainability 15 acres

Thanks to amazing support from Gunners fans all over the world, Planet Earth (and one small community in Africa!) now has a growing neem woodland of 15 acres that would simply not otherwise exist. 

From Hornchurch to Helsinki, our fans have been getting behind the project to show that they care about the climate and our aim to compensate for the paper consumed in making this programme. These baby trees still have to get a lot bigger to complete that task but, down at the equator, every single day is a growing day and some of them are over two feet (around 60cm) tall already. 

For those of you who like a statistic or two – and we know there are plenty of football fans who love a stat – in all 37 acres of scrubland has now been fenced for our forest. 

Within those 37 acres, 20 of them have now been cleared for planting and within that area, most of it has now been planted – those 15 acres. 

But we have plenty more seedlings germinating in our nursery, 20,000 in all for this project over the course of season 2021/22 and potentially beyond. 

Those seedlings are very small currently, but with that legendary equatorial pace of growth, they should be ready to plant out some time in May or June, just as soon as this area of Kenya has benefited from the “big rains”.

On the subject of stats, here are some more as we approach the end of the Arsenal Forest’s first season…

•15,625 tropical neem seedlings have been planted – 12,500 funded by the club and 3,125 by 55 amazing Arsenal supporters. Over the next decade these fast-growing trees should altogether remove over 300 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere and turn it into valuable hardwood timber for the community of Bore – more than making up for the 180 tonnes 
of lumber that are milled to publish this programme over the course of a season.

•37 acres of deforested and degraded scrub has been cleared, fenced and protected.

•The project has supported 60 women with employment in the community tree nursery.

•120 poor farmers have been supported with employment in the establishment of the plantation.

•Two full-time jobs have been created for the forest caretakers.

•Arsenal kit and balls supplied to local village teams.

Ru Hartwell from CarbonLink, who we have partnered with for this project, says, “Everyone in Bore loves this project and they send a big end-of-season asante to the fans and the club that together have made this life-changing support possible!”

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