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Rory Butcher might be aiming to ‘pull up trees’ on-track this weekend as the British Touring Car Championship races into Silverstone, but before the action gets underway, the Toyota Gazoo Racing UK star has been planting them instead.

Prior to the start of the 2021 campaign – Butcher’s first with the Speedworks Motorsport-run outfit, two times an Independent Teams’ title-winner in the UK’s premier motor racing series – the 34-year-old Scot committed to counteracting the carbon footprint generated by travelling to circuits and back from his home in Kirkcaldy. In order to achieve this, he vowed to plant native British trees at racetracks around the country in partnership with Adam Brindle, CEO of commercial landscaping company, the Grounds Care Group.

The first of those trees took root at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd in Derbyshire in May, and ten more* were planted beside the lake outside Silverstone’s Stowe Circuit yesterday (24 September), with the full blessing of the British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC), of which Butcher is a Member. The plan is for more trees to be planted in November – peak season to ensure they have the best possible chance of growing to their full potential.

In the meantime, the former BTCC Independents’ Champion and Jack Sears Trophy winner is firmly focussed on adding to his trophy collection behind the wheel of the British-built Toyota Corolla GR Sport, having already reached the top step of the rostrum this year at Speedworks’ home track of Oulton Park last month. 

Rory Butcher, Driver, Toyota Gazoo Racing UK, said: “I am thrilled that Silverstone have been so eager to engage with Adam and myself in our tree-planting drive. As Britain’s biggest circuit, they are used to leading by example and setting the pace, and this is just another way in which the venue is demonstrating its innovative and forward-thinking approach. “We all have a duty to look after this world we live in, and racing drivers arguably have a greater responsibility than most given the emissions we generate not only on-track but also in our journeys to and from events. I’ve made no secret of my desire to do what I can to make a difference, and I truly appreciate Silverstone’s support and that of the other circuits that have pledged to work with us on this.”

Adam Brindle, CEO, Grounds Care Group, said: “First of all, I must say it has been an absolute pleasure to collaborate with Rory on this project to offset his carbon emissions. Motorsport and the environment don’t tend to be regarded as the best of bedfellows, but that is all the more reason to play our part and it is clear that times and attitudes are changing, with the BTCC’s forthcoming switch to a more sustainable fuel and hybrid power just such a case in point. “Rory is wholeheartedly invested in our joint initiative and has been fully committed to the cause since day one, and to now have Silverstone come on-board with all of its heritage in the sport is fantastic. What we are doing here is just one small thing, but the bottom line is that if we all contribute and do our bit collectively, it will ultimately make a big difference to the future of our planet.”

Stephane Bazire, Head of Business Sustainability, Silverstone, said: “We welcomed the opportunity to support Rory’s initiative to offset his carbon footprint, and it’s great to see his obvious passion for environmental sustainability on a personal level. The planting of the trees around Stowe Lake will not only improve the visual landscape, but will enhance the biodiversity of this little-known area of the venue. “We’ll be unveiling a sustainability strategy in the coming weeks, but this, and other activities such as our partnership with Towcester Community Larder to reduce food wastage, are small ways to initiate change and demonstrate our investment in a sustainable future.”

* Three Acer campestre, four Betula pendula and three Sorbus aucuparia trees were planted at Silverstone

Copyright © 2021 Russell Atkins Media, 


The Club regrets to report on the death of Neville Hay, who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1993
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The Club regrets to report on the death of Ray Thackwell who was elected as a BRDC Member in 1957
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