The Heart of England Forest is a charity committed to helping reverse centuries of woodland decline by planting a 30,000 acre joined up forest of entirely native broadleaf trees.
To date, the charity has planted more than 1.3 million trees across 3,000 acres of new woodland between Worcestershire and Warwickshire making it England’s largest new native forest. Additionally, they have protected and manage a further 600 acres of ancient woodland.
The charity was founded by Felix Dennis, who made his money in publishing (think Maxim an The Week) but became increasingly interested in trees towards the end of his life. He founded the HoEF charity in 2003 devoted to "the plantation, re-plantation, conservation and establishment of trees for the benefit of the public, together with the education of the public by the promulgation of knowledge and the appreciation of trees".
"THE FACT THAT SUSTAINABILITY SEEMS ALMOST A NON-ISSUE FOR MOST CYCLISTS BEWILDERS ME, AS THE FREEDOM WE EXPERIENCE AS CYCLISTS IS SO CLOSELY INTERTWINED WITH THE ENVIRONMENT WE RIDE IN. IF WE LOVE WHERE WE RIDE, WHY NOT ACT ACCORDINGLY?"
On Friday, 20 September 2013, Dennis planted the scheme's millionth tree, an oak sapling, at a ceremony attended by local residents, council members, forestry officials and employees. He died of throat cancer on 22 June 2014, aged 67.
HoEF is now headed by a board of five trustees, led by the presenter Jon Snow.