For several years Jackson’s has been donating to Trees for Life, a Scottish Charity which is reforesting areas of the Highlands. We are pleased to announce that we have now planted more than 1000 native trees in the Scottish Highlands.
The idea of giving to Trees for Life first came about from a desire to offset the environmental cost of producing our catalogues. We have distributed thousands of catalogues over the years and have recently produced our second Materials Guide. As well as ensuring these catalogues and guides are printed on FSC certified paper, we decided to give back to the environment and offset some of our carbon footprint by planting trees for every Jackson’s Metal Watercolour Set that we sold. This seemed appropriate given that many of our customers who paint in watercolours are inspired by the beauty of landscapes and the natural world.
Eight years on, we have kept to our pledge and have reached an impressive milestone – 1005 at the time of writing. Meanwhile, Trees for Life have reached one of their own staggering milestones. Volunteers for Trees for Life have planted over a million trees and are now on their way to planting a million more, helping to re-establish the Caledonian Forest for future generations. We are continuously inspired by this organisation and hope that our readers and customers will join us in supporting them for years to come.
The Caledonian Forest is one of the most important forest ecosystems in the UK and has provided a home for spectacular wildlife for centuries. It is now severely fragmented and in many places consists entirely of old trees. This is largely due to the fact that for many years landowners encouraged the clearance of native mixed woodland in favour of heather moorland or Forestry Commission monoculture forest. This has lead to a decline in native species such as Scots pine, Birch, Willow, Aspen, Rowan, Juniper and Oak, as well as the fauna which depend on them.
Trees for Life is working to expand and link these ancient pinewoods by using three strategies. The first part is facilitating the natural regeneration of native trees by fencing deer out of specific areas of forest. This allows seedlings to grow naturally to maturity again, without being over-grazed.
The second strategy is planting native trees in areas where the forest has disappeared. This is achieved by collecting seeds from the nearest surviving trees, which maintains the local genetic variation in the forest. The seedlings are grown at the Trees for Life nursery at Dundreggan, near Loch Ness, before they are transported to be planted. The seedlings are planted in a random pattern inside fenced exclosures, replicating the natural distribution of the trees.
The third part of their Action Plan involves the removal of non-native trees. In some areas commercial crop has been planted amongst the old trees of the Caledonian Forest, preventing their regeneration.
Trees for Life’s aim is that in time these trees will connect the surviving fragments of Glen Affric’s ancient forest and establish a large habitat area for species such as Red Deer, Capercaillie, Black Grouse and Red Squirrel. Their aim is to spread this forested area towards the west coast.
Our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint don’t stop there. Alongside our commitment to supporting Trees for Life, we have recently fitted solar panels to the roof of our main distribution centre in Gloucester, England. We send well over a thousand parcels a day from this centre, so installing solar panels will help us to reduce the environmental impact of our parcel distribution. Covering 3154 square feet, this system will generate 42 500 kWh of electricity per year. This will save an impressive 22 400 kg of CO2 per year.
Made to the exact same standards and formulas as the best professional artist watercolours available today, Jackson’s Artist Watercolours are as good as any leading brand watercolour but at a fraction of the price. We select the finest pigments and blend them with Sudanese Kordofan gum arabic and honey, creating watercolours that are rich, luminous, and a pleasure to use. Jackson’s Artist Watercolour Sets that support Trees for Life are available in full pan and half pan sets of 12, 18 and 24.