I still find it difficult to live in England after experiencing a world with proper forests in it. Returning from New Zealand’s ancient forests to England’s six-lane motorways was a physical and emotional shock akin, I imagine, to waking unexpectedly in a hospital bed and realising that although you will feel better once the general anaesthetic wears off, it will take much longer to accept that you no longer have a right leg.

ImageStill, jet-lagged and depressed as I was, it didn’t escape my notice that trees grow. Besides, why be glum when vigorous activity is an available alternative?

On this page (opposite and below) are links to organisations that I personally believe are making the world a better place. I have now volunteered with several of them and can report that ‘environmentalists’ are not only very welcoming towards volunteers, but they know how to let their leaves down. And they are, almost without exception, the most remarkably and enviably healthy-looking people.


If you work with, or know of, any other environmental organisations you’d like to see here, then drop me a line . If I’m convinced by what you have to say, or if lots of you make the same recommendation, I’ll add the link and do you a little write-up.

“None will improve your lot if you yourself do not.” Bertolt Brecht

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
In 2005 Gillian Orrell became a Trustee of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) UK Working Group.

FSC is an international not-for-profit membership-based organization that brings people together to find solutions to the problems created by bad forestry practices and to reward good forest management.

The global FSC system of forest certification enables all of us to buy forest products with confidence that we are not contributing to global forest destruction. Forest products can be anything from flooring, fencing, toys, tables, chairs, beds, wallpaper, doors, windows, books and paper to decking, crafts, hot tubs, sheds, coffins … and even just plain timber (of all kinds, naturally).

Look for the FSC logo when you next shop:



The mark of responsible forestry










© 1996 Forest Stewardship Council A.C.

Learn more about FSC globally:

Learn more about FSC UK:


Environment Websites
Friends of the Earth
Should need no introduction. Intelligent campaigning.
British Trust of Conservation Volunteers
Spend a few days, a weekend, a week or longer laying hedges, clearing paths, planting trees, dry stone walling or coppicing. Discover what mattocks are and how much fun you can have with gloves on.
Forest Stewardship Council
The FSC runs a global forest certification system which enables consumers to identify products from well-managed forests. FSC certified forests are managed with due respect for the environment, the wildlife and the people who live and work in them. By choosing forest products with the FSC logo you are supporting the responsible management of the world's forests.
Forest Stewardship Council UK Working Group
Part of the FSC global network. Sets forest management standards for the UK, promotes the system and provides an information service.



Comments above include my personal views. See the linked websites for the official info.