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    Millions of trees for thousands of community groups

    From people with physical disabilities to community gardens, sports clubs to low carbon groups – many have benefited from a massive tree planting movement that has swept the country over the past three years.

    More than 1.6 million people have planted over 1.6 million trees throughout all corners of the country  – bringing huge environmental benefits.

    The Woodland Trust are celebrating the end of this three year project with Landfill Communities Fund organisation, Biffa Award which pledged £1.5 million for trees, people and communities.

    The aim of the Biffa Award Trees Enriching Communities project was to support thousands of communities to plant their own local woods.

    It has since sprinkled a bit of environmental magic on people from all walks of life. From city centres to rural villages, people  have got involved in planting and learning about the benefits of trees.

    The project has seen a grand total of 5,407 community groups applying for trees through our successful free trees scheme.

    Chief Executive Beccy Speight, has spoken of a “wonderful and special project.”

    She said: “Not only have they have they (Biffa Award) funded millions of trees for thousands of communities to plant across the UK but they have allowed many people to learn about the benefits of trees and how they can improve people’s quality of life no matter where they live. The project has offered a wonderful way to bring communities closer together – an opportunity to do something positive as a group leaving a lasting legacy – and help instil an interest and love for the local environment.

    “I want to personally thank Biffa Award for their support – it was delightful to see so many people as enthusiastic about trees as we are!”

    And Biffa Award Programme Manager Gillian French, said:

    “We are pleased to have been able to support the Trees Enriching Communities project through the Biffa Award Partnership Grant Scheme.  As well as creating community led amenities, the project also made huge improvements to local habitats for nature. This along with the long lasting benefits of such an increase in the number of trees – filtering pollution and storing carbon – has made this a fantastic project.”

    One such group to benefit from the trees was Grove Road Estate Garden Development Project in Birmingham.

    The enterprising group has planted trees on an over 50s estate for the pleasure of vulnerable older people. The green space has been transformed. “People often shout out ‘well done’ or smile at us when we’re gardening to say hello,” said Jan Tchamani, leading the project.

    The Rotary Club of Sudbury, meanwhile, has enabled special needs children from the local school to get out planting.

    Roger Green, Secretary of the Rotary Club, said: “The children were thrilled to come along and do this and according to their teachers, they are so much more compliant and calm when in the woodland and helping with the trees and planting. It was a real joy to see them take such an interest in nature and to learn how to plant.”

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