The OU is planting trees in Bedfordshire and Malawi to celebrate the work of its postgraduate research students. The trees are being planted with the Forest of Marston Vale and the Neno Macademia Trust in a partnership to celebrate the graduation of all PhD and Professional Doctorate students each year up to October 2023.

An OU team of researchers, led by Professor David Gowing in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics also plans to measure the soil's carbon content as the trees grow on both sites to see how much is being stored.

This initiative by the OU is very much in keeping with Neno Macademia Trust's mission to develop macademia agroforestry to support smallholder communities in Malawi become more resilient to climate shocks. As a Bedford-based charity we are pleased to find common ground with the Forest of Marston Vale as we both seek to deliver social and economic benefits to the communities we serve through the planting of trees and to create wider global benefits for the environment.

Andrew Emmott, Chair of the Neno Macademia Trust

OU PhD student, Emmanuel Zuza, who is gathering data about the trees in Malawi and Kate Hand, who is working on how to measure the benefits we get from trees in the UK talk about their work in this video.

In March 2022 a team of staff and students from the OU's Graduate School joined forces with a team from Neno Macademia Trust to plant 200 trees in Queens Wood - the latest community woodland to be planted in the Forest. This YouTube video shows the team planting and captures the essence of the project. 

The team from the OU and Neno Macademia Trust after planting 200 trees in March 2022

Visit the OU for more information on postgraduate study options