Ben Coles is on a trees mission - after a prompting from a young schoolboy.
Ben is walking 58 miles to work, from Torquay to Somerset County Council in Taunton, to raise money to plant more trees. He started on Wednesday at 5.30am.
He was inspired after receiving a letter from a young boy describing the need for more trees - one of the hardest things about Ben’s job is making the difficult decision to have a tree cut down.
Sadly, due to the chronic spread of ash dieback disease, having trees felled is something he is having to do more often than he'd like to - and if trends continue, we are going to lose over 90 per cent of our ash trees in the coming years.
Ben says: “For a long time, I've been wanting to do something to offset the vast numbers of trees I'm having removed but had always made the excuse I was too busy. That changed when, recently, I received a letter from an eight year old boy telling us how valuable trees are and that we should plant more of them. Sage advice from a very smart young man.
“After I'd had a cry, I had a think about how I could do more. Having not been to my office for over a year, I thought I could try and walk to work on my first day back, from Torquay to Taunton."
He is raising money for Trees For Cities. A charity, working at a national and international scale to improve lives by planting trees in cities.
Ben said: “As my young tree champion said, 'trees bring happiness, oxygen and homes for animals'. I don't want to let this young man, or any of our children, down and leave them with a planet in a worse state than the one they were born into.”
You can sponsor Ben on his Walk to Walk, and find out more about Trees For Cities here: https://bit.ly/3hoXxwS
Torbay Weekly Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.