A FURNITURE business founded in Salisbury has been giving back to the environment and helped replant more than 75,000 trees in UK forests over the last five years.

World of Furniture, which has a store at the Wyndham Centre in Southampton Road, runs the Furniture for Trees Scheme which has now re-forested the equivalent of about 34 football pitches.

For every piece of furniture bought at its stores a donation is made to the Forestry Commission to replant trees. The scheme was started in late 2010, early 2011.

Mark Hotson, who runs World of Furniture, said: "The ability to put something back as regards to the environment is an absolute privilege. For most of our business life we have always supported the people in our community by actively sponsoring local and national charities. As a result of our outdoor 'experiences', it was obvious our natural environment needed greater consideration.

"A larger majority of the products we sell are made from wood. Setting up a scheme that looked to replenish that natural resource seemed to be the most way of creating a ‘balance’. The Furniture For Trees scheme is unique to ourselves and something we will champion for many years to come."

Mark and his wife Lucy had always dreamt of running their own furniture business and this became a reality when they started World of Pine, which went on to become World of Furniture.

"It has been going strong ever since," said Mark.

Since the founding of the Salisbury store the business has expanded — opening stores in Blandford, Poole and Chandlers Ford.

Mark's approach to running the business and the environment changed after he won an outdoor experience with survival expert Ray Mears to the Arctic back in 2004, which he says made him think more about the environment and the world's natural resources.

"It opened my eyes hugely," said Mark. "It introduced me to the outdoor world and what was going on."

This eco-friendly ethos, Mark says, has been incorporated into World of Furniture for example with the Furniture for Trees scheme. It even inspired him to set up his own outdoor and bushcraft company — Countrylore Bushcraft.