Environmental Charity Green Light Trust has recently celebrated 25 years of campaigning, education and working to care for the environment.
It marked the occasion by bringing together people involved in projects over the years that has earned it an acknowledged reputation as a green champion.
In 1988, Ric Edelmann and Nigel Hughes travelled to Papua New Guinea in search of primary rainforest, they trekked through the dense Hunstein forest of the Upper Sepik, home to some of the 34 different birds of paradise and many species of flora and fauna; many then still unclassified. They learnt that the entire region – 2,000 square miles of pristine forest – was earmarked for the biggest logging operation yet to hit Papua New Guinea.
There and then they pledged to support the people in protecting their unique homeland. They were asked what was happening in the UK to protect our woodlands and wild spaces for future generations and it was this question that sparked the inspiration for Ric and Nigel’s commitment to developing new initiatives and forming Green Light Trust in 1989.
As the work of the charity grew, it established its main office in November 2004; The Foundry, based in Lawshall, Suffolk. Work started in May 2005 to build a permanent office and by August 2006 the trust had a re-constructed, self-sufficient and carbon-neutral building.
In January 2014, an organising committee began plans for a celebration event to mark the trust’s 25th anniversary. Sarah Moore, environmental education team leader for Norfolk, held a two-week exhibition demonstrating the team’s work on Reaching Communities – Operation Green, a project funded by the Big Lottery, to transform four neglected green spaces, working with partner organisations and with local communities and communities of interest groups.
Legacy Legs connected a total of 47 community-owned WildSpace projects which were started and supported by the charity. In total, 121 miles were covered by 22 staff and colleagues of GLT; with partners, family members and pets either running, riding or walking to, from and around a WildSpace. This raised more than £500 for the charity’s work.
The birthday party itself was a great success. More than 80 people joined the founders, trustees and staff at the foundry to review our work during the last 25 years, listen to presentations from Ric Edelman and Nigel Hughes and C E O Ashley Seaborne and to learn about the ambitious plans for the charity’s future work.
Guests enjoyed guided tours of Frithy Wood and Golden Wood, viewed artwork produced by Artheads (a Bury St Edmunds charity), enjoyed storytelling, exhibitions showing how community WildSpaces have flourished, Forest School training, green crafts and bodging and enjoyed a barbecue and hog roast.
To end the day guests were offered some of the beautiful birthday cake made by Sarah from GLT.
A sculpture symbolising the connection with Papua New Guinea, Golden Wood and 25 years of Green Light Trust was unveiled in the grounds.