On Saturday 11 December, parts specialist TVH and Natuurpunt joined forces to plant the second part of the Waterhoevebos in Sint-Denijs (Zwevegem). The number of possible participants was limited due to Corona, but there were still over 40 volunteers on hand. Among those, there were also some colleagues of TVH with their family and friends, ready to help extend the forest. No less than 7000 m² (about 1.7 acres) were added to the existing 5800 m² (about 1.4 acres), which TVH and Natuurpunt already planted at the beginning of 2021.
The purchase of the land and the realisation of this new forest was made possible by an increased purchase subsidy from the municipality and by sponsorship from TVH. Anton Theunynck, Sustainability Manager of the company, states: "By investing in afforestation, TVH wants to partially offset its CO2 emissions and do its bit for corporate social responsibility. Sustainability has been recognised as a strategic action point by TVH this year. We are working hard on a global sustainability policy.
After planting, a commemorative plaque was also unveiled. Anton: "The plaque is a nice recognition for our company, and for everyone who helped with this planting. Within TVH also, we continue to strive for more sustainability. On and off the job. We are already pleased to announce that we plan to add another 7000 m² to the Waterhoevebos in 2022. So, in total the forest will cover almost 20 000 m² (5 acres)."
3 BILLION EXTRA TREES BY 2030
The project is part of the forestry policy plan of the municipality of Zwevegem. After all, by 2025 the municipality wants 20 ha of extra forest in Zwevegem, by 2030 even 80 ha (20 acres). Moreover, the project also helps the EU forest strategy for 2030 (part of the European Green Deal), whereby 3 billion extra trees must be planted in Europe by 2030.
MIXED DECIDUOUS FOREST
The new forest will be a mixed deciduous forest, which will be made accessible to hikers by restoring a lost footpath. The Waterhoevebos is located on the outskirts of the village and will in time become an oasis for the residents of Sint-Denijs. By now, the forest contains more than 2000 trees. Only indigenous tree species that contribute to the promotion of biodiversity were provided for this.