Northamptonshire builder building a greener future

Northamptonshire builder building a greener future

Northamptonshire builder, Ryan Lange is on a mission to build a greener future and he’s doing it with an ambitious tree planting initiative.

“We were working on a back to brick renovation on a five-bed detached property,” recalls the eponymous proprietor of R Lange Construction, when asked what inspired his tree planting campaign. “It struck me just how much waste was generated because, with the best will in the world, a lot of what you’re stripping out is just not suitable for recycling.” It was that experience that planted the seed of an idea and from little acorns grow mighty oaks. 
I started to think how I could be more environmentally aware myself. As a builder there are more sustainable materials and methods becoming available all the time, but you are ultimately beholden to the client as to what’s specified. I came to the conclusion that the only way I could reduce my own carbon footprint in any meaningful way was to plant some trees. 

Not one for small measures Ryan decided to well and truly go into the woods with a commitment to plant 5,000 trees over the next 10 years. His first challenge was to find suitable locations and willing landowners who would share his vision. “We were working on a wedding venue near the village of Dodford and I got on really well with the client, so I asked him if he could accommodate any trees on his estate. He agreed, so I paid for the saplings, provided the labour and we had our first 300 in the ground. That was three years ago, and we’ve since completed our second planting in Preston Capes, which consists of 1,200. That means we’re up to 1,500 and counting!  

Ryan’s company has been trading since 2016 and is the epitome of the kind of local building firm of which there are many hundreds of thousands up and down the land. His five-strong team operates in the counties of Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, undertaking everything from large renovations to extensions and new builds. Given the time pressures of running a business and managing up to four or five projects at any one time his tree planting endeavours are remarkable for their dedication to giving something back to the environment.

The hardest part for us is to find people with land who will buy into what we’re doing,” continues the Daventry-based tradesman. “In the second location I was able to collaborate with the Woodland Trust, and part funded the planting. Even with that support, however, I’ve still spent around £900 on trees, and it took four of my own employees four days to plant the 1,200 at the Preston Capes site. If you add up the labour and materials that’s an outlay of around £4,000 thus far.” 
With its unspoilt countryside and charming natural stone villages the area around Banbury, Towcester and Daventry has been described as the ‘new Cotswolds’. For Ryan it is the vast expanse of farmland that is an opportunity to co-opt the local community into his ambitious tree planting scheme. The Woodland Trust has already proved a useful ally and provided invaluable guidance in terms of what to plant, how and when. “We’ve made use of a native mixture, including oak, beech and hornbeam, and you have to be mindful of the season when they’re going in the ground, the spacing between each seedling and so on. I knew nothing about the subject before I started so it’s all been a learning curve for me.”

Ryan is now 3,500 trees from his target, with seven years to go, but has no plans to conclude his budding career in arboriculture when he reaches 5,000. “The figure I originally came up with was a bit of an estimate, and sounded quite ambitious, but I won’t be stopping. When we reach the current objective, I’ll probably commit to a certain amount a year.”

Ryan’s real aim is for others to take a leaf from his own CO2 saving book: “My hope is that this will inspire other people to think about what they can do for the environment,” he concludes. “We’ve been sharing what we’re doing on social media, and there’s a dedicated section on our website. If that motivates more individuals to address their carbon footprint then there’s a chance we can make a difference. Of course, there is a personal satisfaction as well. I’ve lived in this area all my life and when I drive past the fields where we’ve planted trees I’ll be able to say that I did that.”   

For further information on the high quality building work undertaken by R Lange Construction visit

Watch a video on how R Lange Construction is building a greener future at

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