The Plymouth Community Invest in Helping to Build the Mayflower Forest

The crowdfunding campaign launched by leading members of Plymouth’s construction industry to build the ‘Mayflower Forest’ has smashed its £40K target five days before the deadline.

Diverse businesses from across the city including Drew and Co Ltd, Plymouth City Bus, Balfour Beatty, Brunel Recycling and Bruton Knowles have invested to support the volunteers of The Road to Mayflower team to deliver a new landscape design to revitalise Marsh Mills Roundabout as a green gateway transforming the visitors’ arrival experience as well as delivering significant environmental benefits.

The volunteering design team, led by AECOM, AWW and YGS Landscapes, plan to plant over 1,000 trees creating the Mayflower Forest of silver birch trees and using local stone to create an artistic dry riverbed.

Emma Hewitt, Skills Co-Ordinator at Building Plymouth, leading in partnership The Road to Mayflower project and organiser of the crowdfunding campaign said: “We are absolutely delighted by the momentum, reach and success of our campaign – we have raised £40,568 thanks to the generosity of over 200 supporters. The local business community have been instrumental in enabling us to achieve our challenging target so a huge thank you to everyone who pledged support and helped to promote our project. It has also been overwhelming to see the amount of interest from local people who want to support this legacy project – my Mum raised over £600 by promoting to neighbours and friends, amazing. Every pound counted here and it is truly exciting to think our idea has evolved into a city-wide backed community project.”

In terms of next steps for delivering the project Adam King, Associate Director of AECOM said: “AECOM, as the lead designer for this project, are delighted that crowd-funding has reached the target of £40,000. This incredible achievement from the local community and businesses reinforces the commitment to our amazing city and this green infrastructure scheme. The pledges will now take the project one step further to reality. In liaison with Plymouth City Council and Highways England, our next steps will be the clearance of the scrub and self-seeded vegetation on the Marsh Mills roundabout, along with the installation of the dry river bed feature under the existing flyover. These works are planned to take place this autumn. Following this initial phase, there will be a significant amount of preparation work, which will need to take place over the winter. We are planning to undertake the first phases of the planting early in 2020, which will develop into the Mayflower Forest, a lasting legacy for Plymouth and an elegant, visually stimulating and environmentally sustainable gateway to our city.”

The final donation from Drew and Co Ltd of £1600 helped to achieve the £40K target, five days before the close of the crowdfunding campaign. Andrew Botterill from Drew and Co Ltd said: “There is an urgent need for businesses to back environmental schemes and act to reduce nett carbon emissions from our activities. This brilliant idea struck a chord with us as a way of contributing to carbon capture in the most simple and natural way, tree planting. In addition, the scheme forms a wider part of connecting the present day to the history and heritage of the city of Plymouth through the Mayflower 400 commemorations. If that wasn`t enough, once complete, the new green gateway to the city will create a much needed positive first impression to anyone visiting. We can`t wait to see the finished scheme and will be on hand to provide any further assistance to the build team.”

Everyone who pledged support for this crowdfunding campaign has been recognised on our Friends of the Mayflower Forest page.

The campaign is still live and taking pledges until mid-day Wednesday 18 September – Visit our Crowdfunder page to donate today

To find out more about the Road to Mayflower project, including how to get involved in the project, visit our Road to Mayflower section on our website.