Time to get free trees

Woodland trust tree packs
Woodland trust tree packs

Time is running out to make your neighbourhood or school greener – the deadline for free trees from the Woodland Trust is September 13.

The Woodland Trust is giving away free packs of native British trees to schools and communities but the deadline for applications is September 13, so anyone wishing to apply needs to get their order in quickly. Trees will be delivered in November ready for planting.

Community groups such as parish councils, sports clubs, Brownies, Scouts and many more can apply for packs of either a small pack (30 trees), medium pack (105 trees), or a large pack (420 trees). You can apply for as many packs as you need, in various themes, up to a maximum of 420 saplings. Schools are automatically eligible for free packs of 30 trees, in either a ‘hedge’ or ‘copse’ theme, but can apply to be considered for the medium and large packs if they wish. Schools and communities applying for the medium and large tree packs can choose from five themes – containing trees ideal for wildlife, year-round colour, future firewood, wild harvest, or wetlands. Free, downloadable curriculum-based resources are available to support school packs.

Beverley Gormley, the Trust’s tree packs project manager, said: “Planting trees is a great way to improve our neighbourhoods and school grounds, so we really hope people will get in touch and apply for trees before the closing date. We don’t want anyone to miss out on the chance to create healthier, greener places to live and work in!”

The UK is one of the least wooded countries in Europe, with just 13% woodland compared to 44% on the continent, and the Woodland Trust wants to double this by helping people plant trees. Trees provide habitat and food for wildlife, they produce oxygen, absorb carbon, cut pollution, and help reduce flooding. They give us shade and shelter, and a source of timber, fuel, fruit and nuts. Regular contact with green spaces has been linked to reductions in diabetes, obesity, stress, and other disorders. Trees are also great for the struggling bee too – the nectar and pollen produced by the flowers of trees can give them vital food in harsh times.

Planting trees is also a perfect way to help children and young people connect with and learn about nature, helping them become future guardians of the environment.

To apply for your free pack, head to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/communitytrees

The tree packs have been generously funded by lead partners IKEA FAMILY and Biffa Award, and by Nicky and players of People’s Postcode Lottery.