We are sad to announce the retirement of our Forestry Trustee, Ru Hartwell, with immediate effect.

Ru is unequivocally the person responsible for our tree planting activities commencing in Boré – do have a watch of our whiteboard animation to get the whole background story.

Through his NGO, Community Carbon Link, Ru organised the planting of a wedding forest through the Boré Green Umbrella, for Word Forest founders, Tracey and Simon West back in 2012. Just 7 years on, those trees are now 6 metres tall and growing tall and strong. These are the very roots that Word Forest grew from.

Then in 2015, again through his non-profit organisation, Ru administered the planting of trees for an international writing competition that planted a tree for every entry, the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize, an initiative from creative writing fans, the West’s.

The photo at the top of this feature shows the kitchen being built at the Boré Community Forest Centre, another amazing feather in Ru’s cap. The centre, which is located near the main nursery in Boré, is the meeting place for our Mothers of the Forest events. The centre is also used by the local community for a variety of other events and conferences. This project was 10 years in the making for Ru and the completion of the kitchen earlier this year, just before our monitoring and evaluation visit, was the icing on the cake for this community resource.

Ru will be fondly regarded particularly for the talk he gave at The Big Cat Sanctuary in April 2018, which resulted in a generous donation from them of £1,000. Conservation and reforestation certainly do go hand in hand.

We’re delighted to have had an opportunity to work with Ru and wish him every success with the progression of his initiative, Mollusc Tents and with his continued work supporting the Boré community with other ideas, including spearheading a water infrastructure project alongside great support from Rotary Clubs in Lampeter in Wales and Malindi in Kenya.

Fuhamwenga musenangu,

The Team