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Business Biscotti networking, has teamed up with Business Biscotti nationally, encouraging its 22,000+ network of businesses to take part in the first step along a path to a proposed combined solution to today’s economic and environmental issues, based on two simple principles:

  1. Coastal trees defend against coastal erosion and enable arid inland areas to grow vegetation;
  2. Vegetation converts carbon emissions and waste into food and fuel.

This was announced to businesses attending the second St Albans Business Biscotti networking meeting on Monday 12th November 2012, which launched last month at Sopwell House with 91 businesses represented.

Greg Peachey of the FREdome Visionary Trust said, “People said that the second event is always the most challenging, but despite some visitors turned back by the road closures caused by the fire in the St Albans wood recycling plant, the Hotel was still teaming with 60-plus business people.”

The environmental initiative begins with the planting of a National Community Garden Forest.

People across the UK are being asked to do two very simple but important things:

  1. Whilst out walking, to pick up acorns, nuts, berries, fruits and other tree seeds that they find on the ground or ripened on the lower branches.
  2. Take them home and nurture them in plastic carrier bags of soil in their gardens

When everyone’s seeds are in carrier bags of soil, a huge virtual forest will have been planted!

In a couple of years the resulting saplings will be ready to be transplanted (as permitted by authorities and under the direction of scientists) locally or taken to the seaside in order to build a ‘bioshield’ and help:

  • reduce serious coastal erosion
  • tackle the drought/deluge cycle
  • support our food security by protecting low-lying agricultural land prone to flooding and salt-poisoning, should sea defences be breached as sea levels rise

People are also being asked to help spot any Ash trees infected with the Chalara fungus which currently threatens a third of England’s trees Sightings can be reported using the mobile app Ashtag in order to help contain the spread of the disease. If people can also spot resistant strains growing unaffected alongside infected trees, the community will be able to help establish the resistant strains in their garden. A reminder to those taking part: DON’T FORGET TO WASH YOUR BOOTS ETC AFTERWARDS, IF YOU ENTER AN AFFECTED AREA.

St Albans-based web development company, FreedomSites, with premises on Victoria Street, has volunteered to build an online database, so that the community as a whole – not just business people – will be able to register, describe and photograph their participation and attach it to pins on an online map of the UK. Lauren Harvey – New Business Consultant at Freedom Sites and Ambassador for St Albans Biscotti, said, “I thought it was a brilliant turn-out. What a great way for businesses to meet each other! 60-plus businesses all in one room – what better way to make connections?”

In order to understand just how far-reaching this project will become – potentially providing a combined solution to today’s economic and environmental issues – please visit:

Be sure to get along to the next St Albans Biscotti Network Meeting, which will take place at 9.30am on Monday 10th December 2012 at Sopwell House.  This will be a festive meeting, and something different will be happening!


Notes for Editors

Self-seeded trees in parks tend to be mowed down, while those in woodland fail to thrive under the shade of the canopy. So the saplings that people nurture and save, w not otherwise exist.

Trees are needed for oxygen, for their produce, as a wildlife habitat, for local environmental beauty, and for a host of other reasons.

In areas of the UK, such as Happisburgh in East Anglia, the coast is receding by a massive 12 metres a year. Concrete defences are undermined by waves and eventually crumble under the onslaught and are too expensive to maintain. England cannot afford to get smaller and smaller but sea levels are steadily rising, so that our major cities, which are built near the mouths of rivers, are predicted to be underwater one day. At first sight there is no solution.

However, in New Zealand, where communities have planted vegetation on all types of coastal terrain similar to those found in the UK, the coastline instead of rising has been found to rise and extend out to sea. In West Java it has been observed and recorded that coastal trees can protect homes even from the full force of a tsunami.

The FREdome Visionary plans to build a demonstration pilot on the East Anglian coast. A letter from the Secretary of State for the Environment sent by the Prime Minister to a project representative in Witney has advised the FREdome Visionary Trust to “work with a coastal community to develop a bid to the Coastal Communities Fund, which is available to support projects that make better use of coastal assets in producing sustainable economic growth and jobs that are better equipped to adapt to change. This year £24 million was made available and next year this will rise to £28 million.”

Sea levels are rising measurably as carbon emissions cause the earth to warm.

Vegetation converts carbon emissions (CO2) and waste (which are both building up in the world) into food and fuel (which are becoming scarcer and therefore rocketing in price).

There is simply not enough vegetation left in the world. That leaves us with climate change and food/energy insecurity. When we first explored the great landmasses, we cleared the coastal trees to land and settle, unwittingly cutting rainforests off from their source of airborne moisture and causing massive continents to turn into vast deserts.

We need to restore the coastal trees on arid shores.

Operation OASIS plans to do this by using the ballast capacity of returning oil supertankers to transport organic, nutrient-rich treated wastewater, outfall-piped off our beaches, to turn coastal desert sands back into soil and irrigate starter tree belts. We can then implement agroforestry back inland, taking excess CO2 out of the air and growing all the food and energy crops that the world needs.

The UK could apply for international green funding, attract inward investment and become a leader and shareholder in a new world economy that will grow sustainably, restoring the environment and natural resource base in the process.

And it all starts with the little seeds that people will collect…

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