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Volunteers plant trees at local nature reserve

The wind, rain and mud wasn’t enough to stop a dozen hardy volunteers from Ward Hadaway giving up their time and contributing to improving the local environment in Castleford.

Staff from the firm’s Real Estate Team in Leeds swapped their computers and laptops for shovels and secateurs, and volunteered to plant trees and clear ditches at the Fryston Country Trails.

The team of partners, associates, solicitors and admin support staff helped to plant up to 60 hazel and Japanese rowan trees along large sections of public open space and also cleared willow from some of the drainage ditches to prevent the meadows from flooding.

The corporate volunteering day was organised to support the work of one of their charity clients, The Land Trust, who is committed to conserving and maintaining local parks and nature reserves.

The Real Estate Team at Ward Hadaway advises The Land Trust on the acquisition and management of green public open spaces within large-scale housing developments such as park areas, ponds and meadows.

The team were guided by staff from Groundwork Wakefield who manages the park which comprises 85 hectares of scenic landscaped public open space including 8km of footpaths, cycleways and bridleways alongside the River Aire.

Sarah Stockdale, volunteer and solicitor in Ward Hadaway’s Real Estate Team, said: “As a proudly northern law firm firmly rooted in our region, we are proud to invest and support the local communities we serve and our team are committed to volunteer their time to give something back.

“Members of staff within our Leeds office have volunteered for a number of community initiatives and are proud to support our clients where we can. When The Land Trust mentioned volunteering opportunities at Fryston Country Trails, our team were more than happy to get involved.

“Volunteering boosts morale and it is a good opportunity to get out of the office, into the fresh air and make a difference. It is also good for team building and communication. Despite the bad weather, we all thoroughly enjoyed it and came away feeling proud. It is a highly rewarding experience and we will definitely want to return next year.”

Alan Carter, Director of Portfolio Management at the Land Trust, said: “We were delighted to welcome Ward Hadaway to Fryston Country Trails. It was fantastic to see the team so eager to get stuck in and help improve the green space for the local community.

“It’s been proven through research that spending time in green spaces can improve a person’s physical and mental health and wellbeing, so opportunities to take some time out of the office and get back to nature can be extremely beneficial.

“On behalf of everyone at the Land Trust, thank you to the team at Ward Hadaway, we hope to see you back on our sites soon!”

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