18:03 Tuesday 12 February 2013

Comedian goes green for the National Forest

Written byBY HELEN KREFT

A TELEVISION celebrity has planted the first free in a new woodland in The National Forest.

Headline act comedian and actor Alistair McGowan planted the first tree in Comedy Wood, which forms part of Hicks Lodge Cycle Centre, Moira.

Britain’s longest running comedy festival, Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, has worked with the National Forest Company to raise funds to create the woodland, encouraging performers, promoters, venues and audiences to ‘go green’ as they see the funny side of life.

McGowan, famous for the hit television series The Big Impression, has never owned a car and is a keen environmentalist.

The tree he planted today will raise the curtain on the creation of a new hectare of broadleaf woodland, a mixture of oak, birch, rowan and hazel.

The woodland is designed to reveal a glade at the centre, a natural stage setting.

Geoff Rowe, director of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival, said: “We’ve been working for a number of years on various projects designed to encourage the comedy industry to become more environmentally sustainable.

“We aim to promote responsible attitudes towards the environment and lower the carbon footprint of comedy events. Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival is leading the way to inspire the comedy industry to work sustainably and think about the environmental impact of their work and Comedy Wood is a great signal of the work we lead on.”

Sophie Churchill, chief executive of the National Forest Company, said: “We are delighted to have this partnership with the lively comedy scene in Leicester and across the UK. Working with Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival has enabled us to create a new woodland, transforming a former colliery site into a wildlife haven.”

Further information on Comedy Wood is available by visiting www.nationalforest.org/sponsor/comedywood.php

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