Ralston forest on Park De Hoge Veluwe

Ralston offsets CO2 with climate-proof forest in National Park De Hoge Veluwe

In the paint and painting industry we like to be inspired by nature. Trees and the forest are often used to describe the most beautiful shades of green. But if you take a look now, you will see that a green and healthy forest is no longer so self-evident.

In recent years, increasing acidification and climate change have had a major impact on our nature. The changes are rapid and have already led to the death of almost all Norway spruces in the Hoge Veluwe. We want to ensure that future generations can also enjoy a beautiful and sustainable forest. That is why we are going to replant 3 ha of dead Norway spruces on De Hoge Veluwe with climate-proof trees.

Felling trees and replanting them to save CO2. How does that work?

It may sound contradictory, but felling trees can be a good way to save CO2. When spruces die it is better to cut them and use the wood than to let them rot. 

Dead wood can no longer absorb CO2 and instead emits the stored CO2. The new trees such as sessile oak, hazel, small-leaved lime, Turkish hazel, goat willow, sweet cherry, sweet chestnut, aspen, Norway maple and black locust are more resistant to the changing climate and can thus contribute to CO2 uptake. This is how we make the new forest future-proof, resilient and sustainable.

Different tree species for higher biodiversity

Within the fence of the climate-proof forest in the Park, 10 tree species have been planted. Different species have been chosen because a varied forest is usually stronger and has a higher biodiversity. The planted species are sessile oak, hazel, small-leaved lime, Turkish hazel, goat willow, sweet cherry, sweet chestnut, aspen, Norway maple and black locust. These species are more resistant to heat and drought and bloom at different times, which is important for nectar-dwelling insects. Some species provide food for animals with their fruits and most species have easily digestible leaves, creating a rich leaf litter. An increase in organic matter in the soil also ensures better moisture retention.

In the future, the Dutch forest will have a different appearance than it still has today. The use of these new species is a first step to respond to climate change.

Balance between ecology and economy

De Hoge Veluwe National Park is the largest actively managed nature reserve in private ownership in the Netherlands. It plays a crucial role in the Dutch Nature Network and is an important part of the European Natura 2000 network. Thanks to its careful and systematic management, the Park has a great diversity of biotopes, with many protected and rare species such as the marsh gentian, the pine marten and the rare spring sedge. For several species, the Park is the last place in the Netherlands where they grow. In addition, De Hoge Veluwe is visited every year by approximately 600,000 paying visitors, without this being at the expense of biodiversity.

Royal Van Wijhe Verf is an official partner of De Hoge Veluwe National Park

The nature of this unique Dutch nature park is overwhelming. The different old-Veluwe sceneries continuously alternate with each other. The Park consists of deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests, but also of heathlands (wet and dry), grassy plains and sand drifts. Urgent environmental and climate problems require us to invest in sustainable developments. Sustainability is in Koninklijke Van Wijhe Verf’s genes. We want to continue our efforts to contribute to a better balance between people, the environment and profit. That is why we help De Hoge Veluwe to preserve the park for future generations. Maintaining this beautiful Dutch nature reserve contributes to good biodiversity in the Netherlands. In addition, the CO2 compensation of the newly planted trees supports our ambition to drastically reduce our CO2 emissions in the coming years.

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