Last week, two Loughborough High School alumni, Laura Gelder-Robertson (LHS 1995) and Rebecca Maudling (LHS 1995) were reunited after 30 years to plant 1,000+ trees with the Million Tree Pledge. Both share a common interest in nature restoration and climate action and working towards a greener future.
Laura works in climate change, educating SMEs (small and medium enterprises) about how to navigate to net zero for the University of Cambridge and Clean Growth UK (a spinout from University of Brighton), amongst other consultancy work as co-founder of Low Carbon Leaders.
Laura is part of the Million Tree Pledge, which is about small businesses taking radical action against climate change by planting 1 million trees each by 2030. Laura spent her life’s savings on planting 100,000 trees in sub saharan Africa during COP26, because she felt so strongly how if we want to make a difference in drawing down the existing emissions in the atmosphere by 2030, we have to act now. She has since united with 70 other small businesses across the UK to plant over 200,000 mangrove trees via Ecologi, a Bristol-based startup who provide a gold standard carbon offset platform. You can see her collective forest here: Glow Innovation’s Forest. For more information, see Laura’s TED Talk here.
Meanwhile, Rebecca looks at the health of people, animals and ecosystems through her work leading at One Health and International Location Safety. She is a veterinary scientist by training, with deep expertise in international development and aid work.
Both Laura and Rebecca were joined by 70 others planting trees, including Caroline Lucas MP Brighton Pavilion who shared news of the UK’s first river being given legal rights, reinforcing the vital role business can play in protecting and restoring nature.
"I thought 35 people were coming and we'd be there until midnight with head torches. In fact, we had double that and many hands really did make light work. I felt energised, uplifted and optimistic at the end of the day. We live 128 miles apart, but the opportunity to get involved in large-scale tree planting initiative near to Rebecca's home resulted in us meeting up for the first time in almost 30 years to do something we both love and believe in with 65 others."