2013 Plantation update

New plantations, new protected land and new photo opportunities…

December 16, 2013


As we purchase more plantations, our Forestry Easement Trust continues to grow. And as our Forestry Easement Trust grows, we’re given more opportunities to document its wildlife with stunning photography, which is our chance to create a pictorial story we know our investors are keen to see.

One of our new plantations, Rio Celeste, is no exception. Located in the Guatuso region of Costa Rica and with the magnificent Rio Samen River running through it, we’ve placed its wild forests into the expert care of our Forestry Easement Trust, bringing the trust’s total protected land to 2,173 acres.

We’re excited to see our new acquisition develop and grow as our other plantations have done. And in order to keep our investors up-to-date with its progress, we’ll photograph every step of the way.

Our photographer, David Roberts (Norbert), was on hand to photograph the new plantation and the beauty of its protected forests, as well as capture the brilliance of the river; the lifeblood of any healthy habitat and a hub for much of Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife.

Having worked for Ethical Forestry since incorporation, Norbert has the enviable task of regularly travelling to Costa Rica to photograph and film the story of our operations, from the impressive growth rates of our plantations through to the expansion of our Forestry Easement Trust and the wildlife it protects. But doing justice to the sheer scale and beauty of our plantations and protected forests is no easy task. When it boils down to it, it’s Norbert’s passion that produces such spectacular shots.

Norbert says: “My trips to Costa Rica are a real adventure. To get the very best shots of our plantations I’m up at first light dealing with the heat, humidity and biting insects (for some reason the ants love me!), only stopping when the sun starts to set. It gets dark very quickly, and as the locals say, “the devil comes out at night”. It can be really challenging, but I love every minute of it.” 

With the hums, squawks and buzzes of the forest around him, Norbert managed to capture the beauty of the river and the wildlife including poison dart frogs, cat-eyed snakes and stingless bees, to name but a few.

He adds: “Because of the crystal clear river that runs through it, Rio Celeste is an incredibly special plantation and my personal favourite. It was an absolute dream to explore and photograph what I found.”

And capturing the incredible growth rates of Melina is just as challenging…

As just one example of the impressive growth rates of all our plantations, we chose to track the progress of Chimmuria, of which some readers will remember from previous newsletters. 

Having photographed this plantation from the outset, Norbert visited Chimmuria on the first anniversary of planting and was impressed by how quickly our investors’ trees have grown since he last photographed them 7 months previously.

“From walking through shoulder height trees to being dwarfed under the canopy of the same trees 7 months later is more than impressive. But conveying this in photography and film isn’t straightforward. Shoulder height trees at 4-months-old are simple to photograph. But just one year on and they’re over 20ft with closed canopy – not easy for exposure or achieving a bird’s eye view. In order to do justice to the growth I have to get creative with my resources – the top of our Land Rover helps!” 

As with all our plantations, Chimmuria is a fantastic example of how quickly our trees grow with expert care and management. Norbert’s latest photographs are a testament to this, and it’s safe to say he’s succeeded in conveying its sheer scale. However, this extraordinary growth will continue, culminating in fully mature trees with an average height of over 95ft… So standing on top of a Land Rover may not cut it!

We’re keen to constantly update our investors on the development of all our operations in Costa Rica, and will continue to do so with the best photography and information available. Looking at our latest shots, you will appreciate why we’ve chosen our fast growing tree species and why this stunning country attracts so many nature-loving tourists every year.

See the full article originally published in the Ethical Times Autumn 2013 newsletter

To see more photographs of our plantations and protected zones, visit our website’s gallery