About Roots for the Future

Our Mission
Our mission is to engage communities in tree planting to cultivate a lasting legacy of environmental sustainability.

We envisage a future where communities are inspired to implement natural solutions to climate change.

We believe community activities, like Roots for the Future’s are at the root of curbing the global issue of climate change.

Watch our video
Our one minute video shows one of our workshops in action.

Who we are

Roots for the Future was dreamt up by co-founders Francesca Fryer Rigden and Daniel Rigden.

Francesca has spent many years working in international development and campaigning for progressive causes. Inspired by a work trip to Ethiopia where farming communities told her about the dramatic change in their climate over the last 20 years, and with the UK’s increase in flooding, she decided she should focus more on environmental issues.

You can listen here to Francesca being interviewed about her path to setting up Roots for the Future. 

Her husband Dan has been a tree surgeon for two decades and he and his team plant trees as well as give them a trim. His tree identification knowledge, flag recognition and military history nerdiness make him a great pub quiz team member.


With the government’s sustainability targets and the universal sustainable development goals in mind, in 2016 Francesca and Dan founded community tree planting social enterprise, Roots for the Future, CIC.




Lewis Darby


Lewis is the founder of Godalming based creative studio Yard B, with over 15 years experience working in video production, animation and marketing. Through his business and individually, he is passionate about supporting charities and good causes, with a particular focus on the environment, healthcare and disability. He is certified carbon literate and a keen wildlife photographer.




Sam Allen

Coming from a mixed background in CRM in the retail and not-for-profit sectors, Sam has a keen interest in equality and the environment. In addition he is proficient in event management, running music events, in particular our much loved local annual festival, Staycation Live.





Danielle Giornandi


Danielle Giornandi originally hails from Los Angeles, California and now has moved from Godalming to Italy! The vast swaths of greenery that Surrey boasts made her immediately fall in love. Danielle has run humanitarian operations, worked for educational charities, and co-founded a local small business in Godalming which provides refills and other sustainable and eco-friendly products. She contributes her ideas to the board from afar!




We are always on the look-out for new members to our board. Get in touch if you are interested in a formal voluntary role with Roots for the Future.



Why plant trees?
We bring people together to plant trees in their communities, encourage them to preserve and protect those trees, and to enjoy their benefits. We invite all ages to participate, and envisage that our involvement of children and young people will help to inspire the next generation to address climate change with environmental solutions.

Why trees?

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now!

Trees are amazing. As we all learn in school, they give us the oxygen we breathe and it’s well known they absorb and store the carbon emitted from vehicles and industrial activity.  They also mitigate other climate change related issues such as flooding. That’s because water sinks into soil under trees at 70 times the rate it sinks under grass. With so much on the news lately about our poor air quality, it is important to note that trees absorb pollution and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.

We aim to cultivate a lasting legacy of environmental sustainability by engaging communities in tree planting. We believe that participation in our workshops contribute to social integration at a local level. The workshops act as a call to action to enable people to do something positive together for the community as well as for the good of humanity.

Green spaces make us feel better and more resilient to stress. Studies show that when people are recovering in hospital, if they can see a tree outside their window, they get better more quickly than those who can’t. And it is reported that trees cut crime and anti-social activity.

Protecting and enhancing local green space is critical for the health of people as well as the environment. According to Natural England, the government’s conservation advisor, green spaces close to home or school positively impact children’s body mass index, resilience to stress, and ability to learn. It has been shown that older people live longer in areas with more green space. People who visit the outdoors every day, take part in gardening, or are members of voluntary environmental organisations have higher feelings of happiness and well-being.

So come plant with us!