Woodland Trust Campaign Case Study
Isle of Man Woodland Trust
Maybe it is something to do with our name but Ashgrove has always been a big supporter of native tree planting as a way of preserving our natural environment and protecting biodiversity. With the increasing focus on well-being and the growing climate and biological emergency, we decided to encourage other businesses on the Isle of Man to consider tree-planting as a CSR activity and increase the number of trees being planted on the Island. We also wanted to raise awareness of the huge and sometimes hidden value of trees to us as humans and as a society and what is at risk, now and in the future, if our tree population is allowed to decline.
We wanted to create a simple but powerful message that would drive businesses to consider planting trees as part of a CSR or ESG commitment. Working closely with the Isle of Man Woodland Trust, who have the specialist arboreal knowledge and experience in this area, we studied the impacts that trees have in supporting local biodiversity, as well as supporting human life both physically and emotionally. It was important not just to outline the devastating loss and threat that tree decline could bring but also to highlight that we have the ability to reverse that right here and now.
As we were focusing on the business market, we sought a partnership with local business publication Portfolio who agreed to provide a free one page ad space in their monthly magazine which is distributed widely among local businesses. This gave us the opportunity to run a 10-month campaign that we could easily update and change each month. This was supported with social media and communications with our own client base.
Our “Plant it Forward” campaign was launched in March 2021 featuring a series of simple black and white pen and ink drawings that each illustrated a different fact about how trees support biodiversity and improve our lives – and that used elements of trees themselves to create the image.
The same headline – “The shape of things to come…. Or things past?” – was used for each illustration to demonstrate the risks of tree loss. Meanwhile a tagline “Plant it Forward – rewilding the Isle of Man for future generations” gave the motivation for action.
We’re pleased to say that not only did the Isle of Man Woodland Trust have its best tree-planting year ever with 7,093 trees planted, an increase of more than 1,000 over the previous year, it also saw an increase in donations, the number of volunteers and corporate members as well. In fact it was their best year across all measures.