An online Trees and Bees Conference hosted by community interest company Climate Action North, has raised over £800 for a variety of wildlife and conservation charities across the UK.

The conference was livestreamed on YouTube to mark The United Nations General Assembly’s International Day of Forests (IDF) and attracted over 170 attendees. Funds generated through ticket sales were all donated to charities Buglife, British Beekeepers Association, Bumble Bee Conservation, Rewilding Britain, and Trees for Life.

Climate Action North’s Managing Director, Sharon Lashley, said: “The conference was very much focused on providing an open forum to explore the role of trees and bees as an essential solution in the ongoing climate emergency, so it’s absolutely fitting that we, in turn, support these charities who are making a very real difference in restoring the natural world to achieve the safe and sustainable future we need.”

The charities were all nominated by the conference speakers Alastair Driver, Conservationist-Rewilder-Explorer; Dr David Hetherington, Cairngorms National Park, Trees for Life and Lynx & Us; James Fearnley, BEEARC Apiceutical Research Centre; Barbara Keating Artist/Film Maker; independent bee behaviour researcher; Alan Watson Featherstone, ecologist, and nature photographer, and Isabella Tree, award-winning author from the rewilding Knepp Estate in West Sussex.

“We were absolutely thrilled to raise funds for these important charities,” Sharon said, “and we are particularly excited with The Trees for Life donation, which is going towards the creation of a community grove of Trees in Climate Action North’s name, and we will be planting further trees with funds we raise from future events and conferences.”

Anyone interested in the benefits of rewilding in the North of England and beyond can watch the whole conference which is available on the Climate Action North YouTube channel. Sharon said: “The event was a brilliant opportunity for anyone who cares about making a positive difference to our environment and the day itself was truly buzzing with thought-provoking discussions on ways that we can all play our part in taking practical action in the climate emergency to help heal our communities and the environment.

“Participants on the day had the chance to ask questions and discuss with the speakers how people, communities and businesses can be part of the rewilding and climate solution and anyone who watches the conference’s inspiring presentations will still get the opportunity to consider the benefits of rewilding in all its forms and, critically, understand how to take action and make a real difference.”

The virtual conference was the latest Climate Action North event addressing rewilding, an issue that the community interest company has championed in the North of England since 2017.

Other notable highlights were a conference hosted by naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham, and the launch of the award-winning Wear and Tees Action for Rivers (WATAR) initiative, which focuses on clean-up activities on the beach, on the water, on mudflats and on rocks with all plastic collected being repurposed and recycled.

The company also runs the Pollinator Parks initiative, which sees business parks and other community areas rewild their outdoor areas along with Global Wilders, a project offering activities for people and communities to tackle the climate crisis through actions which include saving energy, reducing waste, restoring nature, and conserving biodiversity.

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With thanks to Louise Hobson for the conference artwork.