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Oak Tree Animals’ Charity calls out for votes to bag a share of bag charge fund

Oak Tree Animals’ Charity is bidding to bag a massive cash boost from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch the monthly funding scheme, which sees grants of £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local outdoor community projects.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and this month shoppers are being invited to head along to Tesco stores to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

Oak Tree Animals’ Charity is one of the organisations on the shortlist.

The project the money will be used for is the development of our woodland, Blackburn Woods. The mixed woodland is 2.4 hectares in size and is home to a range of native species including woodpeckers, dragonflies and Roe Deer that use our woodland as a resting place as they travel up the Eden Valley. We would like to bring the woodland back to life for community use: Providing opportunities for children and adults to learn about wildlife conservation, supporting physical and mental wellbeing and to provide a place of peace for those who are bereaved to remember loved ones lost, whilst taking in picturesque views over the Eden Valley. We are keen for this development to benefit our local community and ensure the public can access this beautiful woodland, and gain an understanding of wild animal welfare through education and community based opportunities.  The first stage of this project is to create accessible pathways into the woodland, whilst maintaining the woodland’s character. This grant will allow us to create these paths, allowing individuals to safely access the woodland, which is currently overgrown and uneven in parts. It is important to us that this woodland is accessible to all users, as we want everyone to benefit from its beauty and nature-filled habitats. 

Voting is open in stores from 1 February to 25 February. Customers will cast their vote using a token given to them at the checkout in store each time they shop. Please note you will not be able to find a box labelled Oak Tree Animals’ Charity as when this process began we were still known as The Animals’ Refuge so please look for the box name ‘The Animals’ Refuge’ and place your token in there. General Manager, Caroline Johnson, is excited to have been chosen as one of the three groups to benefit from this scheme: “We want to encourage as many people as possible to support us through Tesco’s Bags of Help to help us develop our woodland for our community and the wildlife that lives there. The more tokens we get, the more funding we will receive. Thank you in advance to everyone supporting us with this, and for Tesco’s and Groundwork for initiating this fantastic grant scheme”

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £25 million to more than 3,000 projects up and down the UK. Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different groups each month. At the end of each month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions will be awarded funding.

Lindsey Crompton, Head of Community at Tesco, said:

 “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for February. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see them come to life in hundreds of communities.”

Groundwork’s national Chief Executive, Graham Duxbury, said:

 “We’ve been thrilled to see the diversity of projects that have applied for funding, ranging from outdoor classrooms, sports facilities, community gardens, play areas and everything in between.

“We’re looking forward to learning the results of the customer vote and then supporting each group to bring their project to life.”

The Bags of Help scheme is permanently open for applications and anyone can nominate a project at any time – whether it’s Tesco customers, colleagues or the community groups themselves. Just ask in store for more information or visit the Bags of Help website, visit

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