Woodland Trust’s free trees scheme urges community groups and schools to be part of a “green recovery”

Community groups and schools in the UK wanting to plant trees as to be part of a “green recovery” have until 14 August to get their applications into the Woodland Trust.

Some 560,000 saplings will be made available, ready for the planting season, as part of the Woodland Trust’s free tree scheme.

Packs contain a mix of UK sourced and grown native broadleaf species such as hazel, rowan, hawthorn, common oak, silver birch, wild cherry, elder, dogwood and holly.

There are packs that will provide year-long colour, a wild harvest or a haven for wildlife. Another option contains hardy species which tolerate exposed sites and dry up areas where water collects easily. There are even packs to provide fuel for wood burners or willow for weaving.

They come in various sizes starting at packs of 15, which are perfect for residential areas with limited communal space. If no shared space is available, applications to split between neighbouring front gardens to green up a street are considered.

Other pack sizes include 30 saplings, which will create an eight-metre hedgerow or a tennis court-sized copse, 105 which is enough to cover an area as big as four tennis courts, or 420 to cover an area the size of a football pitch.

Woodland Trust senior project lead Vicki Baddeley said: “Lockdown has proved to us the value people put on green spaces. Having somewhere to escape to, to clear their heads and get fresh air has never been so important. They’ve found comfort and strength from daily walks, rediscovering the joys of trees, woods and the wildlife within them.

“Our free trees for schools and community groups give us the opportunity to create more of these spaces and address the climate and nature crises at grass roots level. We’ve heard a lot about economic recovery as a result of the coronavirus pandemic but you can’t make the economy more resilient without making the environment resilient too.

“It’s fantastic that so many saplings have been snapped up for the approaching planting season. Those saplings will provide plenty of benefits for wildlife and for people whether that be locking up carbon, improved soil or water, new habitat, a food source, an outdoor classroom or a community space to benefit our wellbeing.”

Since the initiative started in 2010, more than ten million trees have been sent across the UK to schools and community groups keen to improve their local area.

To order your free trees, visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees before 14 August

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. 

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