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Free native species trees for schools and community organisations

PUBLISHED: 14:58 16 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:05 16 July 2018

Will your trees one day provide a beautiful scene like these beside All Saint's Church in Marlow? © Maureen McLean

Will your trees one day provide a beautiful scene like these beside All Saint's Church in Marlow? © Maureen McLean

© Maureen McLean. All Rights Reserved

Your school or community organisation can apply now for a pack of free native species trees, all ready to plant as a local legacy

There’s a lot of rubbish on television, but we suspect that many readers were mesmerised by The Queen’s Green Planet, which followed the monarch as she wandered the gardens of Buckingham Palace, chatting with David Attenborough.

Indeed, many would be happy if these national treasures, both in their 90s, had a weekly slot to discuss life while telling us more about the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy, a project to create a network of forest conservation projects across the planet.

They range from huge forests in naturally green countries to those involving vital planting schemes in arid regions of Commonwealth nations.

Meanwhile, much closer to home, more trees are putting down roots in another scheme. The Woodland Trust’s last mass distribution of free trees for this year’s planting season is well underway and schools and community groups across our counties are busy adding new life to our treasured green spaces.

A total of 3,165 saplings recently went out to 21 organisations in Bucks, while 14 groups in Berkshire received 2,565 trees between them. Another 3,835 have gone to grow in Oxfordshire.

Since the free tree pack initiative started, five million trees have been sent to schools and four million to community groups. The trees are funded by Sainsbury’s, IKEA FAMILY, players of People’s Postcode Lottery and Yorkshire Tea.

In addition, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has supported the Trust to provide 100,000 trees a year to state funded primary schools in England over the next four years.

The latest packs of saplings contain a mix of native species such as hazel, rowan, hawthorn, common oak, silver birch, wild cherry, elder, dogwood and holly. They come in packs of 30, 105 or 420 – enough to plant a small copse or hedgerow or to cover an areas the size of a football pitch.

Director of Woodland Outreach John Tucker says: “Once again, the number of people applying for our free trees has blown us away. We are thrilled that people continue to want to plant with us. We have an ambitious target to plant 64 million trees by 2025 and we have made a very good start towards this.

“We love to see people acting as guardians of our trees, valuing, protecting and celebrating their contribution to the communities in which they grow.”

Applications are now open for school and community tree packs for delivery in November 2018. To order yours, visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/freetrees.


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